This summer I had the pleasure of spending six weeks in Nicaragua working with El Ayudante. During my six weeks, I spent a good deal of my time conducting research on the work El Ayudante is doing through their Family Enrichment Center. Through the course of my research I had the privilege of spending time with all of the children El Ayudante is currently sponsoring as well as the staff who work at El Ayudante. While I truly enjoyed spending time with those precious children, I also enjoyed spending time getting to know the people who work at El Ayudante. The staff at El Ayudante has bonded together like a family, they look out for one another, they care for and encourage one another, and they definitely love the children of El Ayudante. These people come from all different walks of life, but they have been bonded together in a great way.
During my time in Nicaragua we celebrated Father’s day. In order to celebrate, all of the female staff members came together, donated a little money, and planned a celebration for the dads. While it was definitely entertaining to watch grown men play a very competitive game of musical chairs, I think it was even more exciting to see how much of a family the staff has become. El Ayudante is an organization, “partnering with the Nicaraguan people to transform the nation—one child, one family, and one community at a time.” As I spent time with the staff during my time there, I saw this lived out daily in the staff. The unity of the staff serves as a great example of the encouragement and hope that can be found in those around us. They may not be a family by blood, but they have become a family in spirit, and they are showing the community what love for one another and belief in a common goal can accomplish.
I spent varying amounts of time with the different people on staff, but there was one thing I noticed in every staff member I ever came across. The people who work at El Ayudante love their work, they believe in the work they are doing, and they see El Ayudante’s potential to impact their nation. Not only are they excited for the work being done directly through El Ayudante, they are also taking what they’ve learned and bringing it back to their own families and their own neighborhoods. They are being intentional in teaching their children about helping others, they are looking for ways to reach out in their communities, and where they never thought change was possible they are seeing change happen. Much of the success in any organization is based not on its goals, but on the people who work for those goals day in and day out. The staff at El Ayudante is full of heart, and they are working hard, intent on seeing change in their community.

Leandra Hosfield
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