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ThePsalm Of Tisana
The motivation, the justice, and the faith left over to Moisés, a Venezuelan migrant in Piura.

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By Nelson Peñaherrera Castillo

Photo Courtesy Moisés Vivenes.

PIURA CITY, Peru - When Moisés Vivenes Gómez, 29, walks along the city while he sells his tisana, he looks at a town that is going to grow the next five or six years in everyway and is going to be  a good place for generating prosperity. He just arrived into the third week of August, and he projects it much optimistic, although himself projects in his new temporary home, actually, repeating that tomorrow will be better than today, and today will be better than yesterday.

"everything is in your mind," he repeats. "If you want to progress, you have to view it."

Moisés seems to have much faith in himself and in God, a faith that made him to leave Puerto Cabello, one of the Carabobo state's most important cities, where he also left his family to face the crisis, get a better job, gather some money, arrange his documents in Peru, and relief his relatives at the distance.

At the moment, he got to face the crisis and is looking for a job, but as he does not have documents, many places where he left his resumé have not given an affirmative answer to him yet, although they neither said him everything is lost.

"I have got my passport and my ID-card, but I need the Permanence Temporary Permission" (PTP), he tells.  So its subsistence mean is extracting the watermelon juice (called pateeya* in Venezuela), put it diverse fruits in little cubes, the banana (called camboor* in Venezuela) among them, apple  or whatever on season, sugar, and that is all. Then, out to the street for refreshing the throats of Piura people.

"The persons treat me with much affection and ameability," he smiles. "Only once, a lady said me to go back my country, but wherever I go, the people support me, and even they gift me fruit."

[Photo Courtesy Moisés Vivenes]

The Moisés' journey begins at Piura's general market store, but he occassionally rolls on Grau Avenue or where he detects potential thirstty-looking customers.

"The tisana is refreshing and nutritive too," he explains, reminding the raw fruit  and their extracts  are rich in vitamins and minerals.

For the Carabobo-native (although he born in Caracas, actually), the customer attention is something he has large experience. In his country, he worked  in fast-food businesses, sales, and even he did work as an electhrician.  Because of that, he could pay his Laws studies at José Antonio Páez Private University, his state's most prestigious ones. It was not about the money lacked, priorly, but he left over the motivation.

"My dad was a lawyer and became to work as an attorney  at Portuguesa State's Prosecution Office, and my mom is a lawyer, so we can say I grew up among lawyers," he smiles again.

His parents suported and support him much, although his father passed away just few months ago. "The point is when you grow up, you already want to have your own stuff, your independence."

But the humanitarian and economic crisis of Venezuela gave him no too choices. He tried to superimpose it, and inclusive he became a managing position in Academia Puerto Cabello, a soccer team just upgrading to the first division of Venezuelan league. However, the executive committee changed and he was removed of his position. By the way, the team is getting mixed results in the local championship.

And that is another interest of Moisés with the basket-ball. "I like soccer, I play as a forward player." Maybe because of that, he reflexes, he has got that visualization skill  and that optimism, but that does not lift his feet off the land.

Photo Courtesy Moisés Vivenes.

In fact, one of their first deceptions was discovering the photos those many of his compatriots posted on specialized groups in joining and informing Venezuelans in Peru only showed the pretty and festive part of the migration.

"You see the people eating pizza, enjoying, but what you does not see is what it costs to get all that," he observes. "Here is not like Venezuela because you have to work until ten, twelve or more hours to gather 10 or 15 soles" (the equivalent of 4 to 6 dollars) per day, "and that is what they do not say to you."

Another thing the social media do not say is that the Venezuelan male seems to have less chances tthan the Venezuelan female for getting a job, despite having a similar training.

"Nevertheless, unlike Venezuela, here is more acquisitive capability because with that money you can buy more food, more stuff, more clothes," he clarifies, and that was what attracted him about Peru: an economic position that in the South American context still has the sol better appreciated than the dollar compared to other currencies, and a very low inflation.

Now the Moisés' dream is gathering the enough money for the PTP paperwork, and insisting to leave resumés where they are received looking for a honest job. "Don't go home, Venezuelan, because you do come to make it right, people cheer me," he confesses.

eventually he has got to work a couple of days at a construction place located near where he  is living, but all depends on the engineer-in-chief does not have workers. If he does not get to be admitted for the day, losing the day without producing is no one of his options.

If the things happen as he is projectting, he expects to spend a couple more of years, improving his economic position, and trying to return to his country. And if not, continuing to specialize  in Laws. The Criminal branch catches his attention, and among his visualization exercises is litigatting at the court, or even becoming an attorney  like his father.

"I hate injustice," he underscores.  "That is why I studied Laws."

Meanwhile, he continues to walk the streets of Piura offering his tisana, especially now  the heat starts to increase, not losing the faith in God, the faith in himself, in his dreams, and his overcoming wishes.

And while he follows to walk, he bring up his head the Psalm 91, in special the 15th verse: "He will praise to Me, and I will response him; I will be with him in anguish times; I will release him and fill him up with honor."

"Amen," hhe conjures.

* Only for phonetic purposes, the editors wrote the words as the english-speaker audience could pronounce in order to sound like in Spanish. The ortographic form for watermelon is "patilla", and for banana is "cambur", respectively.

Venezuelans in Peru
According to the last official toll, Peru is hosting more than 430000 Venezuelans who escaped from the crisis created by the President Nicolás Maduro's authocratic regime. According to Lima-based and Maracay-native Labor lawyer Manuel Leonardo Martínez, 60% of them are economically active population and only 2% got a formal job. The rest inserted into the informal laboral market, where 70% of Peruvian population works.

The informal jobs allow to get fast money but they do not necessarily pay taxes, what is a problem for the government, mainly because those workers have no a specific work place: the most are ambulant sellers.

Most Venezuelans are actually highly specialized proffessionists, but as their diplomas and grades are not valid in Peru, their first choice is going out to the street looking for the first job allowing them to gain some money. But, as Moisés told, the chance to buy more with few mony -especially food- is high.

Luis José Miranda, 44, a Maracay-native sales manager in Venezuela who is currently working as a waiter in Piura City, told once that the first time he got ten soles or three dollars around, discovered he could buy fruit by kilos, when in Venezuela he just could get by units, or maybe none. "I was almost to cry," he remembers.

Despite those top profiles, those venezuelans found in Peru a laboral system based on exploitation, especially to them, where the workers are not respected about their rights, as benefits, a weekly free day, or a minimum salary.

Martínez thinks if Venezuelans join (including Peruvians) and establish a little company, they could compete offering services and having best laboral conditions, but they first have to connect, build a reliable relationship, and discover if they share the same goals. At least Martínez and Miranda have clear in mind they want to establish companies in Peru and improve the laboral conditions for everyone, but they realize that is a long-term wish.

Both Venezuelans are advising Venezuela Libre (Free Venezuela) a FACTORTIERRA.NET temporary little project for providing connections, resources, and information to Venezuelan migrants, on our website.

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 Document made with KompoZer