In his last year of high school, Juan Chalbaud discovered his vocation for service. The school he attended invited him to mission to Chaco and that experience marked him forever. During his career as an industrial engineer he continued visiting the same communities with a group of missionary friends.
“Going to these rural communities is an experience that modifies their lives. Many young people have changed their career to face a personal project that has to do with solidarity,” he explains.
As the years went by, he understood what his goal was to be: to create conditions for families in rural communities to develop and stay in their place. The migration rate was high due to lack of opportunities and he was going to create them. “The place must be transformed from the inside. You have to stay and build trust.
Once there, it is easier to recognize where structural needs and injustices are “, says Juanito, as presented. His tone of voice is slow and warm and his gaze is that of someone who found his place in the world.
The place must be transformed from the inside
Last September he was awarded the Prize Bearers Award for everything achieved in such a short time, but none of that feeds his vanity.
His eyes only shine when he talks about the people of the communities and the bond that unites them. “The look of a child in the Chaco mountain has a very strong depth, makes you believe that there is a human being capable of transforming the whole world, and those looks are saving me every day, they make me feel that I am where I have to be and that I must continue because this is just beginning, “he says.
He claims that he had to grow in the middle of the crack that he considers still valid. However, he says: “I think the trap of the crack has to do with the comfort of the platform: from there we all shout, insult, say what we think is better, but we do not affect the game at all.”
And he reflects: “Actually, when you enter the field you realize that there is no crack, because in doing one you experience with great force that we all need everyone to be able to transform reality.”
Monte Adentro was born in 2014 with the objective of achieving the integral and community development of 15 places in the north of Chaco that are located at a distance of 15 to 60 km around the town of Tres Isletas, where Juan lives with his girlfriend.
His day to day is to visit the places and stay there from 12 to 14 hours working. Sometimes they sleep in the community.
“My thirst for staying with families and living in community was getting stronger. Sharing everyday life and living in the same rural area makes it easier to get closer and change that reality,” says Juan.
They work on five axes of integral development: education, sport, health, crafts and community strengthening. All generate encounters and community life: school support, health workshops, ex officio, sports schools, community events, neighborhood associations. “It is necessary to give reasons to believe,” he adds.
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They developed 20 weekly school support spaces for children, youth and adults; 10 sports and another 16 training and integration in workshops for adult trades.
In addition, 100 children attend school supports and 150 mothers, in vocational training workshops.
“I recently read that it is more important to complement each other than to coincide, insisting on working side by side with others to seek the common good. Ideas are a part of people, but each one has its history and talents.
We have to reach fundamental consensus to achieve justice structures and opportunities for those who need it most urgently“, says Juan.
“There is always a reference that gives you the push to cheer you up and, in my case, it was school. I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to get to know this place.
The possibility of linking with that reality made it possible for these people and that nature to modify me and provoke in me a personal change of more human awareness “
I dream of the utopia that it is the rural culture that infects cities with a more humane, dignified, fair and full lifestyle