Archive for June, 2011

Coffee – It’s Soldarity

June 23, 2011

On June 6, I wrote about Balbir Mathur and Jesus de Santiago distributing the Manuel Rodriguez guitars to the libraries in the Books for Life – Nicaragua program. Well, there is a second part to that story. When Balbir was preparing to leave Nicaragua his host presented him a very large package of Nicaraguan coffee, one that would take one entire suitcase to carry.

“It is solidarity!” … said Chico Castro with a broad smile, and shook his fist emphatically. “It is not from me. It is from all of us!”

“Please share this coffee with all those who helped provide these guitars. As they enjoy this coffee, they will feel our thanks.

“Tell them, Gracias, amigo. Come and have the next cup of coffee with us in Nicaragua, and we shall sing together.””

This was their response to the wonderful generosity that had brought 200 guitars to the Books for Life Nicaragua libraries. They wanted to give a gift from their hearts and their homes to the wonderful people who had donated to the guitar project. It was their gift of solidarity to people who care.

Upon returning Balbir figured out how to distribute the coffee to the individuals who donated. A local company, The Spice Merchant, ground the coffee and volunteers packaged it and tied Gracias Amigo cards containing the story to the packages. The Board of Directors for Trees for Life was scheduled to meet the following week and a large number of donors were invited to a special lunch afterward. Local donors unable to attend would have their coffee hand delivered by Trees for Life staff and the balance would be mailed. You might think that would be the end of the process but that would not even be close.

The emails, phone and personal responses  that we have received over a small package of “solidarity” Nicaraguan coffee have been joyous and heartwarming. We have had responses from Spain to China, from Nicaragua to the US. Locally, the packages have produced joyous hearts, an impromptu guitar session (with one of the guitars) and true tears of joy. We beleave Margaret Mead was right, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Thank You, my friend!


June 6, 2011

“Beautiful, simply beautiful,” were among the excited responses as the first 80 of the two hundred guitars were recently handed out in Managua, Nicaragua. Recipients were actually dancing with joy as Balbir Mathur, President of Trees for Life/Books for Life and Jesus de Santiago of  HISPAMER Bookstore, Nicaragua distributed the Manuel Rodriguez classical guitars to the Nicaraguan Librarians. The librarians represented the 53  Books for Life and Books for Life – Nicaragua libraries. Balbir related what a joyful and moving experience the event was for Jesus, himself and all of the participants. The two hundred guitars were a gift to the children of Nicaragua by the Manuel Rodriguez and Sons Guitar makers of Spain.

Jesus de Santiago with guitar and Balbir Mathur, far right at the presentation ceremony