The hope of the Salvadoran who lives in a tree in Guatemala City


Guatemala, Aug 1 (EFE) .- On the top of a tree on the central ridge of the Roosevelt Causeway, one of the busiest in Guatemala City, Daniel Antonio Rosales, a 59-year-old Salvadoran who has lived for three years, has lived He claims to be a happy man and that a few weeks ago he saw his home on fire.

The fire consumed some branches of the tree, the wooden base, his mat, blankets, clothes and the little money he had saved. On the night of Monday, July 6, in the middle of the nocturnal curfew due to the coronavirus, Daniel thought that everything he built with the sale of cans to recycle and various items at traffic lights had been extinguished by fire.

A video captured by a Twitter user inside the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, next to the flowerbed, spread the fire that night. On the sidewalk, with no other options than resignation, Daniel did not imagine the avalanche of help that would come next.

There was a group of people who organized to bring him groceries and pay him a few nights in a hostel near there. The next morning, more people brought in a new tent, a new mat, a small stove, blankets, shoes, and clothing.

In addition, someone else promised that they would donate land for their home in Mixco, a municipality in the metropolitan area of ​​the city, and a few others created a ‘crowdfunding’ page – patronage – to get about $ 7,500 and buy them a prefabricated and equipped house. Daniel, who arrived in Guatemala fleeing the Salvadoran gangs.


“Once I had a dream that I lived in a tree, that’s why I came to give to this area and God showed it to me and thus told me that I was going to live here. I have been living here (in Guatemala) for four years and three years being in this tree, “Daniel describes Efe on the ridge, under the house tree and amid the din of vehicles on the peculiar avenue named after the American president.

Despite the fact that he was once run over and that the aftermath of the accident is still in effect when he walks, he climbs the tree without difficulty. It is supported by a rope, climbs from one branch to another and reaches the top to enter the tent.

Excited, he shows the food and other donations that have made him and make him regain his faith, since he is a believing man who found in religion a conduit to get out of the “zumbas” (drunkenness) that he got.

“If I got 5 quetzales (65 cents) I was going to gobble (drink) two alcohols (cigars), so the day began and the night ended. I did not bathe or get ready. People were suspicious and could not approach me They were afraid of me. But now people love me and I love them too, “he says excitedly.

But now he feels “happy, content, happy and the happiness that I asked God for, he gave it to me. I live without offending or disturbing anyone. The good thing that I already have friends and all the people here love me.”


A report by a local outlet detonated the interest of the Guatemalan population in El Salvador. He told the story of Daniel’s life in the tree and in the street situation he faced. How he survived and what it meant to him to live in the midst of chaos, until his home caught fire.

The Salvadoran estimates that the one who burned his house was one of his “lazy” friends. He was “a naughty boy out there that envy kills them. After you help them and feed them, when one gets bored of giving and giving and giving and not receiving anything, I decided to run him and he decided to come and burn the house” , details Efe.

Now, with the help turned to him and the possibilities on the horizon, happiness comes to overwhelm him.

“I do not know why it is difficult for me to sleep. I suffer from a bit of insomnia. I start to think a lot about things and happiness kills me,” he says to answer if it is difficult for him to fall asleep amid the noise and pollution.

For Daniel, however, it is an introspection with which he is happy. “Living here doesn’t compare like it used to. I don’t care about any of that (the amount of traffic underneath your house). I like solitude,” he says.


Originally from San Miguel, about 140 kilometers from San Salvador, Daniel Antonio Rosales was a driver until five years ago he fled the harassment of the gangs and migrated to the United States. He immersed himself in a journey without documents with two people and managed to liberate Mexico and transit the rough territory of the North American country until he ran into the last border, in Tijuana.

There the plans changed and life took another turn for the Salvadoran. One of the drug trafficking cartels stood in the way of the three migrants and took the lives of two. Only Daniel survived but decided to turn himself in to the authorities to survive.

Back in El Salvador, he preferred to change airs and arrive in Guatemala. In his first days in the new country he found the tree house in his dream and soon, if the promise of the new land in Mixco is fulfilled, the prospect will smile on him.

“I want to fix my papers and even look for a ‘cart’. I want to work honestly. Work the land and even, if one day I make my house, I would like to help other people who also need another reality,” he concludes.

Emiliano Castro Sáenz

(c) EFE Agency


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