By Guillermo Rojas y Victoria Lis Marino
In America most of us mortals take a lot of things for granted, we know somebody will collect the trash for us tomorrow morning, we know somebody will give us something to eat, we know that we live in a democratic country where opportunities are created and we can decide to choose them or not, and we believe that injustices can be righted. But what we take for granted here is definitely not the case in other parts of the world, like Mexico, were Eliazar Verde, a happy ragman, lives his life as a ghost, fighting for a plight that has no echoes.
Eliazar collects trash; he is a ragman who travels dozens of miles everyday with his friendly horse to collect the trash of others in exchange for charity.
“The government here does not help us at all, they are against us,” he explained to La Semana. “They don’t even help with the veterinarian expenses of the animals.”
Even if horse power is not something we can tolerate in the 21st century, not only because we have new technology, but also out of the wellbeing of the animal, Eliazar’s story shows us a reality we do not expect and we cannot neglect.
“Nobody is going to give me any other job now that I’m old and I only have primary school, this is the only thing I can do,” he said. “That is why I am asking for help, at least help with our animals, because we depend on them. We are not all the same, not all of us exploit our animals, we are not all bad.”
Eliazar makes a living of an outdated system, one that has perished with time and where he remains prisoner of his own ignorance, societal progress and a society that judges but does not aid.
“The animals do suffer, but if people do not help us, then we cannot help the animal. Without our horses we are nothing, we cannot work, and if I do not work, then I have nothing”, said Eliazar with brutal honesty. His horse is to him not only a friend but also a need, what he must have to survive, the only luxury he can have.
“Here nobody gives you anything, you have to earn it on your own,” he said frankly.
Eliazar is a pariah in a society that has forgotten him, but the only thing hasn’t lost is a wonderful sense of humor that helps him stand tall, like a juggler in a carnival parade.
The animals do suffer, but if people do not help us, then we cannot help the animal. Without our horses we are nothing, we cannot work, and if I do not work, then I have nothing”
He does not care about politics, about Lopez Obrador, Peña Nieto or whoever might be in charge — his life is much more simpler and truer,
“For me it’s easy, if I work I eat, If not, I do not,” he said. “I have nothing to say to the president, I keep things for myself and I’m happier, they keep on with their campaigns and I stick to mine, cleaning up the town,” he stated.
Eliazar owns nothing in this world but his own happiness, he works and takes care of his animal while life happens and sees him pass by.
“I am happy because I have no other thing to be, I have to thank God for the little life I get to live,” he confessed with a smile that makes us all reflect of what we are made of. Maybe we have to do like Eliazar, to see life for what life is, remembering we only own ourselves and the power to give others our best. (La Semana)