Living trapped in addiction is a hell, not only for the addict but also for his family and all those around him. The Fazendas – the “Farms of Hope” – seek to give an answer to this suffering. Originating in Brazil, today there are 139 Fazendas in 22 countries around the world. Analía Rodríguez is Argentinian and today she is in charge of the Fazendas in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. The international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has been supporting the magnificent work of the Fazendas from the beginning. In an interview for the weekly TV program “Donde Dios Llora” (Where God Weeps) she shares her heartrending story.
“We come from a very humble, very simple family. We are five brothers and sisters, together with my mother. My brother had already had other experiences of trying to overcome addiction, which were not good. Then he went to a Fazenda in Brazil and came back with a group of missionaries in order to open the first one in Argentina, in the province of Cordoba. He knew what was happening in our home, and with me especially; I was sexually abused from the age of 14 by my stepfather. I already had a child aged seven, as a result of this abuse, and I was pregnant again with another child. I thought that my life would always be like that. Then my brother came to the house and told me he had something to give me that wasn’t money, that wasn’t a house; it was something that had got him off drugs; it was God. A hope was born within me then, because the life I was living was not the life I wanted to live. And so, with the help of a priest, he got me out of that place.
When I first came to the Fazenda, I wasn’t the person I am today. I arrived there empty, without dignity, without self-esteem, without any aim or direction in life. I was in the world because there was no other one for me to live in; I had attempted suicide on several occasions. I wasn’t a drug addict or an alcoholic, but today I understand that drug addiction in people is a secondary effect, that the wounds come before the substance abuse and that every person has a different path to follow in order to survive them.