Xiomara and her mentor Karen Fang at the Global Ambassadors Program in Mexico City.
What Vital Voices and Bank of America enabled last March in Mexico City, through the Global Ambassadors Program, went above and beyond all expectations. A program that, as a fruit of its powerful dynamic, kindly reminded us-both mentors and mentees, about our true purpose, the scope of our impact as leaders and about our most subtle human side.
I must admit that when I first came across my mentor’s name-Karen Fang-and her impressive resume, I said to myself with wide eyes: What am I and my rather small business going to do to not waste her time?
Well, it turned out that Karen was what one would think of as the perfect mentor-when we met in Mexico City she knew everything about my restaurant, The Garden CafĢ©, my city (Granada) and the tourist industry in Nicaragua.
She was legitimately interested in learning as many details as one could possibly imagine, and this allowed for what felt like a successful open-heart surgery. Beyond that, we were able to share great personal stories, which deepened the relationship even more.
Karen and I together in NYC.
By the time the program ended Karen and I had come up with what seemed to be a complex new vision for The Garden CafĢ©, myself as a leader and a series of ambitious yet perfectly fit solutions ranging from developing exciting new products to identifying and developing new leaders within the company.
|Visiting Times Square.|
Two months later, many of these solutions are being successfully implemented, yielding important and measurable results that benefit all of Garden CafĢ© stakeholders.
To this day, Karen and I keep our communication alive; casual WhatsApp messages, emails and phone calls that diligently and graciously demand updates on Garden CafĢ© progress. Most recently I visited Karen in New York City where she generously hosted me and warmly opened up her home, life and family to me. I am truly grateful.