If in the North Pole there is a bearded, good-natured and wealthy Santa Claus who distributes gifts at Christmas, in Nicaragua there is his antipode, a dark one, without beards or riches, which could be said to be the poorest Santa Claus in the world, and works without dates , schedules, or resources.
Víctor Rosales, better known as the “Santa Claus Nica”, one day can be seen giving gifts to children in a Caribbean island of Nicaragua, and the next delivering a coffin in a neighborhood of Managua. More than gifts, what it delivers is humanitarian aid, all year.
“Víctor Rosales is the ‘only Santa Claus’ every day,” he explains to Efe, in a living room in his house, located in a populous neighborhood in eastern Managua.
WITHOUT “Sledding” AND WITH DEBTS
The house of this “Santa Claus” is spacious and has two floors, stands out among those of its neighbors, but not too much, it is noted that its owner, Rosales, is not a wealthy man, and does not seem to have come out of the help he has channeled in the last 30 years.
In his house there is a workshop, but not of toys, but of road signs, his main business, apart from a sale of popcorn, which collapsed with the socio-political crisis of Nicaragua, which also left him without a “sled” , an SUV.
“I have problems, my job totally fell out, if I registered my wallet I don’t have (money), I have debts, I had my truck and I lost it because I was missing (paying) fees,” he explains.
Despite this, the house is full of gifts to be delivered, toys, wheelchairs, beds or balls are stacked at different points, especially in the workshop. The “Santa Claus nica” maintains that he does not mix his need with that of the people waiting for his help.
THE SECRET: HONESTY
“Victor Rosales gives and he has problems, who is going to help me? God, then I am not going to touch one thing that you give me to give to another, I do not confuse my problems with those of the people I owe help, “he says in the third person.
Precisely honesty is the fundamental pillar of his fame. He says that being transparent makes many people, from millionaires to ambassadors, anonymous or casual donors, trust donations because they know they will deliver them, and if possible, in their presence.
He claims that he owes his honesty to his mother. “She taught me the path of honesty, that if something is not mine I should not touch it.”
“Víctor Rosales has not made a profit that people give to other people in need,” insists the “Santa Claus nica”, who says that if a donation is incomplete, he himself provides what is missing, or makes loans to meet the donations you make with your own resources.
BEING “HOLY” IS DANGEROUS
But being Santa Claus is also dangerous. Rosales, 51, says that once a gang of criminals was waiting for him on the bridge of a river in a mountain to steal donations and kill him. On another occasion, a young man put a gun on his head to deliver the gifts.
Charity saved him both times, remember. In the first one, one of the assailants warned him of his plan, because months before the “only Santa Claus” had obtained help for the coffin of his dead son, without knowing him. In the second, the young man gave up the assault upon realizing that the gifts were for his community.
However, the case that struck him most happened about ten years ago, when he brought material help to a peasant girl, who really needed a doctor, because he suffered from mountain leprosy. Not only did she save her and her family’s life, she also managed to give them a house with latrine and well.
Experiences like these are that Rosales, who sold candies at a traffic light when he decided to save 12 children poorer than him in 1989 to buy toys, does not want to climb in society, because he believes that the millionaire “is not interested in the pain of may need. “
Rosales prefers to maintain the ideology of that street vendor who, after giving toys to 12 children, set out to give 50, then 150, 500, and so on, to cover millions, he says, and become the person who gives gifts all the year, at all times, regardless of being the poorest Santa Claus in the world.
Wilder Pérez R