Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | February 24, 2011

Healing from War

Jimmy Haner Guaca lost his left leg when he stepped on a landmine in 2008 when he was part of a counterguerrilla batalion chasing the FARC. After his release from the Military Hospital in Bogotá, he asked himself, What else do I know to do besides fire a gun and chase guerrillas? Who will hire me now with only one leg? He was also suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, reliving the moments in which his friend soldiers died in battle, one by one. Shot. Stepping on landmines.

An army colonel helped Jimmy find his way to “Frutos de mi tierra” (“Fruit of my land”), a project financed by “Tejido Humano” (“Human Weaving”), an NGO dedicated to helping victims of the conflict. Jimmy moved to Cajibío, Cauca and now grows tomatoes in greenhouses, and the first crop of tomatoes is now sold in local supermarkets.

One of the project’s most therapeutic aspects is that Jimmy met other victims of Colombia’s war and now he feels less alone. Amongst the twenty-nine people growing tomatoes with him are other disabled soldiers and widows of soldiers and their children.

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