He captured the eyes of the world. He was referred to as "the world's poorest President."
He declined to live in a luxurious palace with staff and servants, as should have befitted the holder of the highest office of the country of Uruguay. Instead, he remained in the modest farmhouse where he lived with his wife and their three legged dog named Manuela.
He refused luxury. His most prized possession was his beat-up volkswagen blue beetle.
He said, "I am called the poorest president but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more. This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions, then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself."
He donated all is salary: 90% to charities , the rest was saved for donation to schools.
Pepe Mujica is an enigma. He is a humble man with the courage of a titan. He says that he has "aggressive courage to speak out" and that's perhaps why he gets people's attention.
A rebel guerilla with left wing ideas in his youth, he was captured four times, incarcerated and tortured. He was freed in 1985 when the constitutional government returned. He became a politician, fighting for his ideals of justice and equality. He was elected president of Uruguay in 2010.
Pepe is one of a kind. From humble beginnings, he became a force. He spoke and the world listened. His was a journey not for the faint-of-heart.
True to his views, he turned down his pension from his government when he went on voluntary retirement. He remains humble and outspoken. People in the media continue to seek him out in his Montevideo home for his thoughts and ideas.
Mannually crafted seats made out of recycled bottle tops and bed-parts were the furnitures offered to guests in his yard. These chairs were made by a group of boys with disability who gave them to him. (The former king of Spain had sat on it during his visit.)
Of humanity, he shares his wisdom. "The phantom of wealth and the phantom of power are cheating us. And in the end, we're all just a feast for worms. How complicated we are. Very complicated."
Meet JOSE PEPE MUJICA. View his life, his metamorphosis. Listen to the podcast in either Tagalog or Ilocano.
Photos from the internet: Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Telesur English, infobar.com, josemujica.com, huffpost, BBC
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