Wilhelm Trujillo, biologist, is a German-Venezuelan who does not get intimidated when Spanish speakers call him Wilmer, which in Germany is pronounced as easily as Guillermo - William. After living some years in Barcelona, Wilhelm decided to go back to Venezuela, to be with his family and start a sustainable agriculture project. Probably many lectors will judge his decision, considering that there is a dictatorship -and many other things- occurring now there. Nevertheless, Wilhelm is pretty conscious of the fertility, diversity and magic of this land. He also feels the necessity of spreading the knowledge of permaculture in our region, Latin America.
- As a biologist, which is your relationship with the academy?
- My relationship ended when I realized that as an academic biologist I was part of a very rigid system that only seeks to perpetuate itself in time. I felt myself biologist long before I started this carreer. When I was a child I had a deep connection with nature. Now that I'm a moderately free man, I believe I can help this world more if I am not another employee in a college, university or ministry. Institutions only pigeonhole and restrict professionals. Bureaucracy makes them slow and dependent. The biology I studied in college should be called “obituary”, because everything we did was to examine dissected corpses and dead organisms. Now I study biology observing what´s happening now, alive, and kicking around.
- To what causes do you feel committed?
- I would like to think that the only reason for existance is to help us to understand each other as a small piece of a large puzzle. Everything we think, say and do in this physical plane has repercussions. We are children of Mother Nature and not its owners.
- In Venezuela there is a social crisis and a lot of uncertainty about the future, How do you explain to someone who has to queue for three hours to buy something that it is important to worry about ecology? - Precisely this need, this scarcity, promotes the need to find other models! There can be no light without darkness and vice versa. All the problems in Venezuela are promoting the need for individuals to help each other and undertake other socioeconomic models. Humans are very reluctant to change, if it were up to us we would be anchored in the previous model simply for convenience. We need a serious crisis to understand the need to change.
- This type of movement aims to generate new models of societies and communities, where members have a close relationship with each other. What happens when egos attack?
- I´m glad you ask about the struggle of egos and how these processes operate. Permaculture includes a new model based on cooperation and inclusion. This requires that people make the necessary internal changes first to live with each other successfully. Not everyone is ready. The good thing is that people with a similar level of consciousness tend to cluster in resonance. Thus, these movements are growing at a breakneck speed. There should be a guide, or several guides: those with more experience, who have the ability to manage and delegate; but a true leader never imposes and never appropriates a project. We want everyone involved to have a voice and agree with the final decisions.
- Which other people have similar projects and how can we contact you? - Rodolfo "Fyto" Sandoval: Cooperative Bambusa. - Mishi Moshi: Arepacore. - Orlando Enrique Rivero: Amaranto in Alto de Santa Fe in Sucre State. - The facebook group called Permacultura en Venezuela. My contact in Facebook is Wilhelm Trujillo, my email is wtrujillop[at]gmail.com, my phones are 0424-2430994 and 0412-7305140.
Thanks for the interview and good afternoon!
I invite you to appreciate the size of Southamerican avocados ... and Cacao!