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About Labour Day - Written by a Volunteer in Communications print story
May 17, 2011
Voluntario Global, Argentina
On Sunday it’s the 1st of May, which means it’s Labour Day – ”el Dia del Trabajo”. So why not go and talk to some of the working people of Buenos Aires? I went to ’La Lavandaria’ at calle Chile 1661 to interview the students who work there and to get a feeling of the working environment at this particular Laundromat.
I met up with Ariel, 26 years old, who is one of the coordinators of the Laundromat, and asked him about the history of la Lavandaria; when it started, why it started, and what’s the whole purpose of it.
This was three years ago. Today the corporation has grown. They started out being three people and cleaning for two hotels, now they are 6 people cleaning the sheets for 8 hotels. And instead of delivering the sheets by foot they now have bikes donated by Los Pibes in La Boca and can afford buying scooters.
If you have been at the volunteer house you might have run in to Junior. He is the one bringing out the sheets to the hotels on his bike or scooter. He is 20 years old and has been working at the Laundromat for a year now. For him the job is good in every way; the people, the working hours etc. He has finished secondary school and would like to start studying Hotel Management next year so he can earn money to get his own place instead of living with his mother and three siblings. But for now he likes working at the Laundromat.
I asked Ariel at the end what this job means to him and if he will continue working here. He said that he is half way through his studies in dentistry and will continue working here as long as it doesn’t get in the way of his studies, because for him this is not just a job, its something he helped create. He told me that he never thought it possible for him to be part of making such a project, being from a shantytown and all, and even more keep it running and continuously expanding it little by little. Also because people didn’t give them credit for it at the beginning and told them that the project would close after a month. But if you look at the Laundromat now I guess he and his friends showed them wrong!
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