January 14, 2019

Luis and Jennys: a personal growth and love story

Luis Fernando Salgado Arregoces, is a young member of the Roche resettled community, located in Barrancas, La Guajira.  A lover of, and passionate for, music he feeds his life on a daily basis with the rhythms and sounds own of his region. “Each song has a story; they are experiences you identify with and you feel like they would tell your life”, says Luis, with his characteristic joy.

“Cotito”, as he is affectionately called, is an Occupational Health technician.  He chose that work because he states that health at work is one of the most important factors to live a healthy life; but, since not everything is work, thanks to his passion – music – he met the love of his life, Jennys Duarte, ten years ago when he was working as “picotero” (i.e., DJ) at a party.

“We fell in love between laughs and songs; she asked for some music, and I pleased her”, remembers Luis. From that moment on, they immediately fell in love and decided to form a family, which they would strengthen based on love and the desire to improve themselves. Today, ten years after, their three children were born as fruit of this relationship:  Camila Andrea, Valeria Sofia, and Luis Mateo; they are their greatest motivation to continue to believe and to be better every day.

“For my children, I wish a great future where they have their professional career; because education is the best inheritance we can leave to them. My wife and me try to give them the best example in this sense, and Cerrejón has been a great ally to achieve  it; it allowed me to study Occupational Health and now Jennys is a trainee in the Company’s Maintenance area”.

When he graduated at Pablo VI school in Barrancas, the only thing Luis had clear was that he liked everything related to medicine, although, he thought, it was very remote the possibility of studying since they had no economic funds to carry out his dreams, until he had the opportunity to get support from the Cerrejón’s Education Assistance (“Auxilio Educativo”) program.  “To get education is a beautiful experience; it opens the possibility to discover things you did not event size.  I love to make people aware of the role they play in their environments and the importance of always returning safe to our homes, where our families wait for us”, says Salgado.

Luis is one of the 253 students who have been able to access technical, technological, higher and advance education thanks to the support the Company gives through the Education Assistance program being undertaken in resettled communities with the aim of promoting an improvement in their quality of life and access to better opportunities.

When he is not learning things, he likes to help others.  For that reason, he is beloved among his neighbors; they highlight his dynamic and hard-working spirit, which, thanks to an activity performed as part of the Second Encounter of Students (“II Encuentro de Estudiantes”) beneficiaries of this program, took him to discover Medellín, a city he states he fell in love with. “I thought everything was great:  the flowers, the metro, its people.  I dream of, one day, taking my family to Medellín, because those moments lived in harmony with them are the ones that we take in this life”, says Luis, with a big smile.