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The Quinches

The Quinches

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Published by Marco Montalvo V
A short dramatic story about poverty
A short dramatic story about poverty

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Published by: Marco Montalvo V on Mar 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/24/2013

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The Quinches
A short dramatic story about poverty
Marco Montalvo Vallejo01/03/2013
A few people know and understand extreme poverty, here a real short story that willimpact sensible hearts.
 
 
I met Marefra on a foggy day, as he ascended this steep trail full of rocks, snow andchunks of ice that led to that place known as Edward Whimper refuge at 5000 metersabove sea level, and only 1310 meters distant to reach the summit of one of the world'shighest volcanoes: Chimborazo, the Colossus of the majestic Andes of Ecuador.He was sitting on a rock taking a breath, I saw him with tears in his eyes, I thoughtsomething was wrong, maybe the altitude and the cold had affected him, I approachedasking, if he needed help, I sat next to him and so take advantage to rest."Do not think of anything my friend" were his words, I just got so excited to watch thisscene and began to recall what my life has changed since I was a child, it happens thatfrom here, this breathtaking view, thrills to anyoneI do not know, but he kept talking:Really, we were very poor, he said, we were very poor indeed, I remember those dayswhen we survived in a small hovel located in a dark corner of the village, right next tothe largest dump of the town.I just had to open the door, take a few steps and we were walking on a sea of filth andgarbage.Every people in this country, had their dump located in the edge of town, in a placecould be the entrance or exit of the city, stray dogs roamed there, buzzards, donkeys,cats, and many humble recyclers. We were not alone, also had neighbors who shared the same hardships and miseries oflife circumstantial. Each with its own story, each with their own reasons to mourn orlaugh, each in his own world, locked, cornered, convicted or whatever, but living andfeeling their own emotions, their own beliefs, their own bitterness and its fleeting moments of joy.
 
 We were all a very humble neighborhood; we were all mutually identified and joinedby our terrible poverty. We used to carry water in containers on our shoulders, obtainedfrom a well, where it´s extracted by ancient hand pumps, that we called ¨piletas¨The nights were lit with candles or kerosene burners, always we drank water as itcame...... sometimes to quench thirst, we sipped directly from rivers, there
wasn’t
concern about health, because living in that environment our body had developed thenecessary defenses typical against bacteria of that environment.My God..... being very poor, of course I knows what is be very poor, the homelessnessand misery, I have felt in the flesh, sleep with cold outdoor, and have no shelter, liedown without trying a piece of bread, ... .... Yes sir, how much it cost to get a piece ofbread.Being hungry and nothing to quench, is terrible, painful and frightening.Now, recalling with great sorrow the hours of my childhood, the only appear in mymind, the hungry moments and unsatisfied needs.I remember when cornered at nights , the hours seemed endless expecting the arrival ofDad, shivering with cold and....
we stomach hurt from hunger and thirst…..God!
 Whatindescribable anguish.There was also another immense pain, the pain of rebellion and helplessness we felt inour soul, because we were still so young, so naive, so helpless, so fragile, so.... Yes, butdespite this, I never thought to steal or commit crimes, my holy GodTruly, God of my soul, you know we were very poor, so we slept on the floor, on mats,cardboard, newspapers, cooking on a campfire of any combustible material, pieces ofcane, wood branches, wood trunks, paper. The charcoal was expensive, thereforedifficult to obtain.Our utensils were clay pots, wooden spoons, and certain sort of containers we called
"mate ancho” That was our domestic crockery
 , like gold and silver, but smelled ofsmoke, mud ... ....
pain…
misery.Suddenly one morning I woke up by the murmurs and voices of an unusual uproar, inthe small courtyard of the neighborhood, on a clay pan placed on a makeshift campfire,a lot of people were frying meat, others roasting on an open fire, Also had those gaveaway the pieces of crude meat, the fact is that seemed like a party, because everyonewanted a bite to eat and take their portion.

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