I have referenced many times our work with the fledgling spinning cooperative called Genesis. It started from the ground up with tenacity and determination as its primary assets. The original eight founders attracted additional members over time, both women and men, and commenced with the most impressive building project I have ever known. (See my entry here from February 4, 2010.) We have watched and waited as the coop awaits the shipment and installation of their spinning equipment, a feat yet to happen. The delays have been agonizing for the people who have worked on this project with almost no income, only the prospect of one day having their own business.
Genesis has been accompanied and assisted in their endeavor by the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA). CDCA has provided loans, assistance, administrative help and emotional support to those members who have been able to hang on to this point; many have had to leave in order to find employment or income from whatever source they might. But I received a newsletter from CDCA the other day that wrenches the heart. Here’s a portion of that report:
Obtaining the spinning plant machinery has been a nightmare…. Lies have been told to us regarding shipping dates time and time again. Hopes have been dashed time and time again…. Petrona talks about her husband who died never getting to see this dream become reality, while Chilo hopes to see the reality before she dies… she has been diagnosed with cancer. They have worked…worked…three and a half years with no pay trying to make this dream a reality…these are not people whose spouses have jobs to support the family…these are really poor, poor people.
Many women dropped out in that first year. A few more over the next two years. The ones remaining kept the hope and the vision. Now much has boiled down to just tenacity.
These members of Genesis are the most tenacious people I have ever known. They soak up learning even though for some it is a real struggle…they just soak it up. They keep coming day after day doing labor that is back-breaking to build their building…the oldest woman is in her sixties and one of the men is lame…and yet they struggle on…and on…and on….
Their strength is humbling. Their willingness to learn is inspiring. But it is their tenacity…their sheer will…that can take your breath away. They are amazing examples of [the Star Wars character] Yoda’s saying, “Do or not do, there is no try.”
If ever there were people who deserved a chance to bring their dream to reality, these are the ones. The rest of us are mere beginners when compared to the perseverance of these Nicaraguans….