Don Damian Garcia Vera – Representative of UMADIS san benito
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR UMADIS AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN YOUR JOB WITH THEM?
I’ve been working for UMADIS San Benito since 2011. I was choseen to be a representative because I have always been involved in my community.
WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST CHALLENGING?
I think that the most challenging part of my job is working with the municipal authorities. I have been treated very poorly by them in multiple occassions. Sometimes they don’t understand the work that we do, even though we work very hard.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I love everything about my job. Working with the people of this municipality is amazing they are all very warm and kind.
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN YOUR COORDINATION WITH TUKUY PACHA AND WHAT KIND OF WORK DO YOU DO TOGETHER?
In 2013 we began working with Tukuy Pacha, we are very grateful to them for standing in solidarity with this municipality, supporting with technical aid and trainings.
CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR STORY? WHAT DISABILITY DO YOU HAVE AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS? DO YOU HAVE YOUR DISABILITY IDENTIFICATION CARD? ARE YOU RECEIVING ANY SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT?
I had an accident in 1976, almost 40 years ago. I have a disability card, my percentage is 47%. That means that I don’t even recieve enough money to cover rent. Fortunately the government is trying to provide more job opportunities for those with disabilities. I’m really counting on that to provide for myself and my family (laughs).
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE LEARNED BECAUSE OF YOUR DISABILITY?
A person with a disability always suffers, carries a lot pain and a burden with them, and then sometimes other people look at us and don’t even acknowledge us, diminishing our importance because they do not live with a disability, which leads them to discriminate groups like ours.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW OR REALIZE ABOUT THE TOPIC OF DISABILITIES? WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO EDUCATE PEOPLE?
It is important because we should all be treated with respect and we should all have equal opportunities.