Ay me, the state of things!. I never thought that I would have trouble finding a job, especially after graduating with high marks from the University of Chile a year ago. But that’s the way it is for everyone with the economy so bad. It isn’t just the poor who have a hard time making a living anymore but the middle class too. After finishing my studies at the university, I spent the better part of the year looking for a job in Santiago. I was afraid that I would have to return home to live with my parents, but luckily I was hired to work in the legal department of an office supplies company. The work is monotonous, but it is a job, which is a lot better than many people can say right now. I am renting a small flat in a crowded neighborhood on the east side of the city.
The economic situation is finally getting people fed up with Pinochet and his unjust regime. The copper miners’ Day of National Protest last May started a promising series of street protests, and political parties are even resurfacing! My friend Jorge, whom I met at the office, has been taking me to meetings of the Justice and Democracy Party, a new party that is trying to help organize the demonstrations. The activists I have met there are some of the most energetic and committed people I have met in a long time. I met Sofia, a beautiful and passionate organizer there. She speaks with conviction about enacting political change and economic justice by pushing Pinochet out of power. I was captivated by her passion, and we have been dating for a month now.
I am living in a state of anticipatory excitement. This grassroots action points to the possibility of meaningful change. It will not be easy; Pinochet is firmly entrenched in power and continues to use fear as a tool of control. But the energized resumption of popular political action gives me hope for the future of civil society in my country.