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Portrait of the month: Juan Pedro, The Emmaus’ Traveler (Oct. 2020)

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Juan Pedro is 54 and the least one can say about him is that he is a Companion who travels a lot, from an Emmaus community to another, in Europe but also in America latina. His journey took him to Iasi in September and he will stay a few more months in our community.

Hello Juan Pedro, can you introduce yourself? 

I was born in Spain and moved to France with my family when I was 11 years old. I have been working at Emmaus for 35 years. The first Emmaus I worked in was in Paris, France, when I was 21 years old. Then I went to Portugal, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Bolivia and now Romania.

Why did you choose Romania?

I looked on the internet, and I saw that there were two Emmaus in Romania, one of them where they don't take companions, so I came here to Iasi, because I wanted a change... 

And what are your plans for the future?

I'm staying here for three months and then I want to go and work in another Emmaus in Finland. There aren't many companions there, there are five of them. I would like to see all the Emmaus in Europe. 

Why Emmaus?

I discovered Emmaus when I was young in Paris, France. I met Abbé Pierre and he is in my heart. He helped many people a lot, giving food and shelter to those in need. 

What have you been doing since you arrived here in Romania?

I came to the community in September. I had to go to the hospital to do the coronavirus tests because otherwise I couldn't stay here. I helped in the shop, I did the painting in the volunteers' appartment and then I went to the farm in Popesti where I cut wood and sorted the scrap metal. I also picked potatoes and corn at the Belvedere and unloaded the truck. 

What surprised you here, compared to the other Emmaus communities you have been to? 

Here it's poor, even though it's a European country, there isn't much money. But in Poland and Portugal it was the same. And we don't work in the same way here. That's not the most important thing for the people in charge. I work a lot. 

Yes, I understand, the most important thing for those in charge is the well-being of the companions, and then it's work. 

Yes. That's very different. 

And we are very grateful for the efforts you have made here for our community. We hope that you will be able to continue your Emmaus Europe tour this year, despite the restrictions due to the health crisis.


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