ay after day, Jesus gets up early and goes to work in the country. Together with his companions, he takes care of the orchard, removes weeds from the carrots, prepares orders of vegetables and, above all, sows, sows and sows. His is a quiet life, a happy life. Nine years ago, he joined the ASDECOBA Foundation of Salamanca, a non-profit organization that acts against the social exclusion of different groups in the neighbourhood of Buenos Aires and is part of the state network Collective Action Solidarity. Since then, he has been linked to different programs of the entity, but three years ago he believed to have found his place in the world: the Gente y Tierra project, that offers employment in rural areas to people in situations of vulnerability.
The initiative, that originally obtained the support of the Obra Social “la Caixa” in the Call for Social Action in the Rural Area, was granted the current year with one of the “la Caixa” Awards for Social Innovation. And, at Gente y Tierra, everyone wins: previously abandoned lands now receive the care and quality of organic farming, and the people who work there take charge of their future. “It’s a great life solution”, says Jesus. “This is a phrase that, nine years ago, would not have come out of my mouth”. However, here it is: in his sixties he enjoys learning every day something new from the orchard and from all his companions.
Jesus says he does not believe in miracles, but in people. “I also had the good fortune to meet one of those extraordinary people who truly fight for others”, he adds, referring to Emiliano Tapia, coordinator and soul of the entity. “On the other hand, to those who may be in the same situation that I was nine years ago, I would tell them to be patient, that one needs to persist to reach a goal and see the day of tomorrow with hope”. This is the wisdom of the countryside: learn to wait and wait. Because everything, in the end, pays off.
Text: Patri de Filippo
Illustration: María Perera
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