Apr 27 2011

Wisdom of the Ages: Juan Antonio, 80, from El Salvador

Here is an interview with Juan Antonio, 80. He is in the Hope for a Family sponsorship program in El Salvador. Watch a video of Juan Antonio dancing!

Whatís your secret for a long life?

Juan Antonio in El Salvador

One must think about tomorrow. You’ll realize that you must avoid vices, you must try to feed yourself well and in order to do that, you need to save. Saving, when possible, gives you enough to be well and healthy.

At the same time I eat all kinds of food. You need to eat a little bit of everything. I drink milk and eat rice, beans, tortillas, etc.

A secret for a long life is also to be happy by living a modest life because nowadays life is too fast. People don’t eat well and worry too much about everything.

What advice do you have for todayís youth?

I would tell the young people to live life as I have because now they live too fast. They want everything; they don’t want to save.

Don’t waste your money; use it wisely. When I was young, money in general was limited, nowadays, there is more money out there because people make more money but they spend more too.

The person who saves will have for moments of need.

What is the most important thing your mother taught you?

My mother always taught me to stay away from vices. In spite of that I had a drinking problem for a long time.

I used to work distributing sodas to the stores in the city. We had no vehicles. It was a wood truck pulled by horses.

We did not make much money, but the little money I made I used to spend on alcohol. Praise God I realized that this was not taking me anywhere, so I stopped.

My mother always taught me to be positive, to be encouraged amidst problems. She always said, “Son, you must always lift up your spirit.”

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?

I would like to visit the United States because that is the country where all these CFCA blessings come from. Our sponsors live there and I would love to see the place where these generous hearts live.

Tell us something special or unique about yourself.

I enjoy doing house chores, cooking and dancing. I live with my daughter and my granddaughter because my wife passed away.

I like making beans soup and rice. Taking care of my daughter and grandchild is something I like very much.

I also enjoy dancing in gym and dance classes offered by CFCA because we exercise and dance. It is nice.

What has changed since you were young?

Things have changed very much. When I was young you started work at a very young age.

I was a little boy when I was sent to work at the coffee plantations. I used to get paid 50 cents ($0.05 US) per 35 pounds of coffee beans I picked.

Nowadays, children have more opportunities. Many study, but many don’t want to; they just want to hang around.

However, life, in one sense, is better because there are many more things available that we did not have before.

What do you most like about CFCA?

The opportunity to be in a community, to be well dressed all the time with the clothing I receive, to go out with friends and enjoy life in the outings we have, as well as the benefits we receive in food because I have milk and other products.

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Mar 26 2010

Juan Antonio: The dancing man

Meet Juan Antonio, an elderly man who lives in El Salvador. This vibrant man of 83 years is sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. Since August 2009, he has participated in a dance and gym class as part of his sponsorship benefits. Being involved in the dance program has made him feel, in his own words, “cool.”

We think Juan Antonio is cool, too. But don’t take our word for it. Watch on to meet this charming man.

Read more about the dance program.

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