Events & Newsletters

The Many Hats of Rosa

Rosa is now carrying out a process with teens, a new venture for her that requires the hat of a teacher. Rosa has found the youth have less self-confidence than the women she works with, so she needs to guide them by asking questions and gradually giving them responsibility.

Rosa explains, “When we began our advo-cacy work, I had to speak first, and they sup-ported me. In the next meeting, I explained what I had done, so they knew what had to be said, and they did the speaking. After that, I broke the ice, but I stepped back and let them take over.”

Rosa is able to switch hats easily because she brings to her work the traits of self-restraint, or self-management, and the ability to “read” other people.

Reflecting on her work in San Carlos, Rosa comments that the most important characteristic of a leader is to be trustworthy. For her, that trait is closely connected to her commitment to the San Carlos community. She explains, “If they don’t see a commitment in me, then they will feel abandoned or fear that they will be abandoned at the moment when they need to get something done.” 

Rosa took a test shot with PML’s new camera during an introductory photography class taught by Minnesota volunteer Mark Peterson.
 
Rosa acknowledges that the results of her work in San Carlos can be hard to identify. “People often think of success as something you can count or measure. It’s hard to demonstrate nontangible achievements. But what people have been able to achieve through their own capacity—it’s really nice to see that in the community. Now people speak and express themselves. They have a more self-confident attitude. But how do you quantify that?”

A woman in the community told Rosa that the local political leader was making fun of Rosa, saying, “She never brings you anything.” Rosa responded, “You can tell her I may not be giving handouts, but the community will benefit in more important ways.”

(PML newsletter editor Beth Gaede interviewed Rosa when she visited León in February. Director Elizabeth Moreira translated.)