Picture of Luis Molina from the Hecho Facebook page
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An Interview With An Hecho Seller

edited by Laura Albertini

Picture of Luis Molina from the Hecho Facebook page

In the first two weeks of August, I was lucky enough to spend time in the offices of Hecho, Bs As, the Argentine equivalent of the Big Issue. Hecho is an initiative that aims to dismantle poverty by encouraging rough sleepers to sell a regularly published magazine for a small profit. Here, I was able to interact with lots of different people, talk to hem about a range of issues, and learn to appreciate the rewards that hard work and collaboration can provide. Every issue has a ‘Seller of the Month’ and the main office coordinator was kind enough to let me conduct one. Read below for an insight into an Argentine magazine vendor’s life, as told by one of Hecho’s best, Luis Molina.

With a kind and smiling face, Luis seemed nervous but happy to talk about his work at Hecho. He started in 2004, with the edition starring an interview of Jorge Lanata. From this point onwards, the seller decided he’d found the best job for him, elaborating that the job gave him immense happiness and an enjoyment of growing
with the magazine.

His selling technique? “Showing who I am. It’s important that they know you and what goes on in the magazine in order to sell well and successfully.”

Luis feels very lucky to sell this magazine. For him, Hecho has lifted him spiritually and given him a harmonious life. Within that, he believes that the magazine focuses on different cultures and viewpoints and so it’s for that reason that “when the new edition gets released, I always read it attentively to know what it says and so that people know how interesting this magazine is.”

He doesn’t sell anything else nor does he have another job. This is because, according to him, it’s the
only occupation that allows him to grow financially and to overcome daily tasks; “paying the bills, buying what
I want, having fun…this magazine gives me hope to continue aiming high and reaching my goals.” For him,
being a Hecho vendor means “happiness, a future and knowledge without limits.”

Luis also doesn’t think he would have reached the same conclusion had he been at another job: “I worked
in a photocopier, in a pub, a club, in restaurants, as a florist… at the end of it all, I realised I never wanted to leave
the magazine again, because I see it as my life support.”

With regard to the clients, “I try to converse with ease, because I know selling this magazine is opening
many doors that were not there before.” Not only that, but Luis also has regular clients. In his experience,
“there’s a friendship. Sometimes we’ll go out to get something to eat or meet up and chat… this friendship is
something indispensable, something I could never even have dreamt of.”

Speaking about his experience on the street, he told us that the most special thing that had happened
to him was meeting musicians as they busked, knowing he’d listened to their music since a young age. He also
likes to participate in the activities that Hecho offers. “A few years ago the workshops helped me recover. Now, do the competitions and they’re a perfect way of selling the magazine while learning and having stories to tell
people.”

In his personal life, he told us he’d finished secondary school and later went on to study the arts, primarily
“literature, poetry, music…I can play the guitar, too.”
As for his family, he lives with his mother and near his brother, who has two children, one of whom is Luis’
godson.

His dream? He takes a while to respond, but when he does, his response is heartwarming: “I’d like to have a
family of my own and find someone with the same tastes as me, crossing boundaries [together] that will help me
to be a better person.”

As for the other sellers and the customers of Hecho en Buenos Aires, he leaves a strong message. “Value this
job because it will give you such strength and success…it’s not difficult, [all you need] is good conduct.”

SPANISH VERSION

Edited by Laura Albertini

Con su cara gentil y sonriente, Luís apareció nervioso pero contento de hablar sobre su trabajo en Hecho en Bs. As. “Empecé en 2004, con la edición de una entrevista a Jorge Lanata. Desde ese momento, encontré el trabajo más adorado que pude conocer, y que me dio la alegría inmensa al permitirme vivir en libertad y crecer con la revista.”

“Mi técnica de venta es mostrarme como soy. Es importante, primero, que te conozcan y que sepan el fin de la revista, para volver a vender mucho más y tener clientes, y así, seguramente, el éxito viene solo.”  

Además, Luis opina que Hecho es una revista que como se acerca a diferentes culturas y tiene muchas certezas. Por eso, “cuando sale el número del mes, siempre la leo atentamente para descubrir lo que dice y que la gente entienda que la revista es muy interesante.”

Luis solo trabaja vendiendo la revista, “ Y me alcanza bastante, para pagar los impuestos, comprarme lo que quiero, divertirme. Creo que esta revista me dio muchas esperanzas de seguir concretando y alcanzando muchas más cosas.” Por que el trabajo para él significa la alegría, significa futuro, significa conocimiento sin límites y a todo eso lo encuentra en la revista. Además, no cree que habría alcanzado lo mismo en otro trabajo: “trabajé en fotocopiadoras, trabajé en un pub, un boliche, en gastronomía, trabajé de florista, trabajé en muchas más cosas y al final, me di cuenta que la revista no lo quería dejar nunca más porque es mi sustento de vida”

Con respecto a los clientes, “Trato de tener soltura en la conversación porque vender esta revista me está abriendo muchas puertas que antes no estaban” Asimismo tiene muchos clientes fijos. “Hay una amistad entre nosotros. De vez en cuando salimos a compartir una comida y nos encontramos y charlamos y eso es imperdible, algo que ni siquiera lo habría soñado.”

Participa en las actividades que se desarrollan en la sede también, “Hace unos años participé de unos talleres que me recuperaron bastante. Los concursos son para mí una combinación perfecta para vender la revista y también para estudiar un poco y tener historias para contar a la gente ”

“Mi sueño es realizarme teniendo una familia propia y conocer alguien que tenga los mismos gustos que yo y seguir haciendo muchas cosas, cruzando fronteras que me van ayudar a estar mejor”  Termina la entrevista con un mensaje para sus compañeros vendedores: “Que valoren mucho este trabajo y que le pongan muchas ganas y fuerzas, porque no es difícil, solo tienen que tener conducta para no fallar en la vida.”

If you are interested in supporting Hecho, visit their Facebook page facebook.com/hechoenbsas. For more
local causes, check out www.bigissue.com

Darcey Stickley

Darcey Stickley is a final year Spanish & Politics student and Editor-in-Chief for 2020/1.

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