This proverb was collected from a friend, who was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico and is 21 years old. The proverb “a quien madruga Dios lo ayuda” translates into English literally as “God helps early risers.”
This is something her dad used to say to her to get her to wake up for school. She has noticed that it is often the older people tell to the young, like it also often happens with proverbs in general. She thinks it highlights the fact that Latin Americans are notorious for being lazy and need to be encouraged to break that habit.
I actually grew up hearing what seems to be this proverb’s opposite, “no por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano.” It translates to “no matter how early you get up, you can’t make the sun rise any sooner.” I thought it sounded discouraging at first, but when I thought about it, I concluded that it spoke to a similar idea; it is saying that one should not make rushed decisions, to take the time to do things right.