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mujer rural trabajadora en San Bernardo del Viento

A sanbernardina unstoppable 

It is 8:11 am and María Madariaga, 44, has already been working for two hours at her fast food stand and her clothing store located in front of the San Bernardo del Viento Municipal Palace. At 12 noon he will close his sale of stuffed potatoes, eggs to taste and arepas to dedicate himself solely to the fashionable place. María is not alone, she is always accompanied by her husband, with whom she has been married for 15 years and has now taken the position of co-pilot in this family to become the right hand of this San Bernardino entrepreneur.


María has had to look for various sources of employment due to the few opportunities found in the municipality: “Working independently, selling food. At least I have the little store and I also sew in my free time and that way I am always busy”. In the way he delicately prepares each stuffed potato, checks its cooking and dips it into the mixture to fry, you can see the love and commitment he puts into his work. This is transmitted to his diners, people do not stop arriving and he always seems to have a client waiting for his appetizing and generous delicacy. Men, women, the elderly, all come to taste the delicacies that come from their hands, including the visit of "the popular Mochi" who, while offering lottery tickets, her means of obtaining daily sustenance, comments on her own fame in the town. and the difficulties that exist in San Bernardo del Viento.


In this corner of this municipality of Córdoba, with a light breeze that cools the skin and a blue sky that makes us forget the deluge of the previous night, María tells us that she has an older daughter who lives in Bogotá and is already an adult woman and Independent, she has two children, ages 7 and 13, whom she longs to see as professionals: “Yes, I plan for them to continue studying, we are already beginning to save them. We cannot wait for the time to study because one does not have the resources. So it is very difficult to put them to study. Many stay around doing nothing, but the idea is that they study. I still have a lot of work ahead of me because I have a seven-year-old”.


He also dreams of a better future for his homeland. He wants to see a prosperous town with more job opportunities and fair wages. María asks one of her diners, a young man of about 28, how much they pay him for the day and he replies that he has received up to 1,000 pesos a day for his work as a worker, only making it more evident than how difficult it is for the San Bernardinos obtain income that provides them with a decent quality of life.


However, María is living proof that nobody here stops fighting to get ahead and she has done so since she was little, so much so that she only studied until fifth grade because her parents could not afford her education. For this reason he migrated to Bogotá looking for new horizons. “I always liked doing business, being independent, not staying stagnant. That's what I can tell you about my childhood here. Sometimes we had to buy one or two changes of clothes a year and that's why I had the idea of having a (clothing) store so that my children wouldn't have to live the same thing”.


The smile of this brunette-skinned woman, who wears her hair in a colorful turban and her cheeks are flushed, reflects the tranquility and humanity of the locals who enjoy spending time with their family. The love that the looks between her and her husband express is inspiring and motivating to face the challenges of everyday life. Even so, they do not extinguish the tenderness with which they treat each other and the support that they offer each other. María, like many other San Bernardinos, is an unstoppable woman who is transforming her people.

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