Agustín Orlando Aragón Téllez

Why did you want to serve on this board?

I was invited to join by one of the former board members. He told me about how PML helps communities in León and invited me to see what PML does. I was impressed and wanted to help a little bit.

How do you see PML helping the city and the people of León?

I saw that they used to build infrastructure, but now it’s more about advocating for the community—helping them organize. So now people are acting themselves to move forward. This approach is better, because it means people are learning how to work on their own behalf.

What are your hopes for the future of PML?

I would love to see us complete our goals, so when we look at our communities, the many big problems become smaller and fewer.

What do you think you personally bring to the board?

This work motivates me to give at least my little grain of sand to improve the ideas the board has, even though I know someone else does the work in the field.

Right now, I’m also able to contribute in a concrete way. I’m doing my undergraduate thesis in accounting, and with the program director, my two small group partners and I are going to be looking at how PML’s accounting is done in-house and making recommendations. So we’ll set up a system—and write a manual—that works now but that can be expanded as needs change and adapted to fit various software programs. It will be realistic, it will work for PML, and, of course, it will do what the law requires.

What do you most want people who visit PML’s website to know?

I think the most important thing is that people see the work PML is doing. So, for example, if people in Minnesota are interested in coming to Nicaragua, they would see that PML offers an opportunity to get involved in projects. They would see that we’re ready to receive them and help them as partners. And I want them to see that Nicaragua is very beautiful. So people should not know about us just because of our politics.

How can people from Minnesota help PML?

As they have in the past, people can make donations. (We want them to know that both here and Minnesota, the money is used well.) People can come to Nicaragua and see for themselves what problems Nicaraguans are facing and how they themselves are working to solve them. They can come and physically help with projects, they can teach classes. They can work not just with PML but with other organizations we are connected to and have partnered with in the past. What has impressed me the most is the way people are eager to relate person to person, community to community.