Changing the world. Messy, but also pretty fun.

The thing about “changing the world” is that it’s kind of messy.

A lot of the time, it looks like running around like a chicken with your head cut off.  Or struggling to understand an Excel spreadsheet.  Or losing your luggage but getting to the meeting anyway. But some days… it’s messy, yes, but also very fun.

Last weekend, Liga Masiva launched our farmer Socios program. What’s the big deal about the Socios program? Well, by combining legal and financial innovations with good, old-fashioned relationships, we’re able to provide our world-class producers with the key pieces they need to change their lives and their communities. A super-high crop price they can depend on over the span of years. The pre-harvest capital they need to do their good work. And direct access to a market for their crops. And in the course of two days, we saw each of those pieces come to life in these farmers’ hands, hearts, and minds. In short, it was amazing.  In a little bit longer, here are some stories from the weekend:

·      After we explained the program, Erasmo (who has always been pretty quiet), launched into a three-minute speech on the importance of paying back the loans, because, “if we don’t pay them back, the program can’t continue. And if the program doesn’t continue, we, the farmers, are the ones that lose out.”

·      Rómulo, who is just starting with us, emphasized eagerly that even more important to him than the cash of the loan is the commitment and relationship that Liga Masiva has to him… and that he has to Liga Masiva.

·      And, we got to meet Carlos’s wife Gloria, and his prize gallo. Carlos’s pride in that rooster is only matched by his pride in his Merengue dancing skills.

The most important thing we came away with is a reminder that what we do at Liga Masiva is work with whole people. These aren’t emotionless, “economically-driven” individuals that are out for whatever short-term gain they can get. Our farmers are dynamic, complex people that are engaged in this mission, and want to “echar pa’lante juntos.”  Just like you, and like us, they are in this for the long haul.

Our take? Relating to people as whole people (as messy as that can sometimes be!) is what changing the world really looks like.