Thoughts of a farm worker

San Lorenzo, Tambo Grande in May 2010

Thoughts of a farm worker in San LorenzoMy name is Hermes Montoya. I work on a mango plantation in Northern Peru, and I would like to tell you about the situation in this country.

You come from Germany, and our two countries are separated by thousands of miles. But we have several things in common. We inhabit the same planet, and therefore have the same dignity and responsibility.

Peru has had its own history and culture for a long time. This was abruptly terminated by the Spanish conquerors. The colonial power prevented us from going our own way. Nature in Peru is characterized by its glorious beauty.

The utilization of our vast areas by the international fruit companies has changed not only Peru’s nature, but also our lifestyle. Promises for a better life in the form of new roads, money, employment, and department stores have not been realized for us, and we lost much of our land and our rights.

The fruit corporations dictate how we live our lives. We must tend to the fruit; they plant, maintain, and harvest. For each box of mangoes (20 kg), €3.50 is charged, but only a fraction of that reaches the workers. We earn €180.00 per month.

That is just enough to pay for our food, buy some clothes for the children, or ride the bus. It is not enough to save anything. And what happens if someone is sick?

Cleaning rivers, reforesting forests, protecting animals, all that is important; but it is more important to be able to make our own way again and to gain the right to our own development. We want our children to be able to have a life filled with dignity, health and freedom. We need projects that give us a good income, help us leave dependence behind, and allow us to take care of our own responsibilities.

I told you that because I want to teach the civilized countries what our situation is like here, and I hope they help us to recover what belongs to us.

I hope that your idea and your project Plan Verde will contribute a bit toward that.

 

 

Translation from German to English was done by: Susanne Garmsen, M.A., C.TRAN (DE-EN, FR-EN). Professional Tutor, Teacher and Certified Translator, Victoria, B.C., Canada, email:greentara(at)telus.net

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