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16 – Living with 1 euro a day

28 November, 2011

half of world population live with less than 1,5 euro a day

Either it is Christmas every day or it will never be, says the singer. I don’t agree with that, because Christmas is Christmas because come once a year, unless you are in a James Bond movie, than the world is not enough.

Every year Christmas come in a different way though, and it is up to us make it happen to bring a gift to regenerate our life, and do not reduce it to the reiteration, every time more sad and empty, of the biggest celebration of our consumistic society.

I have learned to appreciate Christmas only travelling. While growing up in Milan, Christmas time use to concur often with the arrival of the first snow, which is a beautiful thing that make everyone come back to childhood, at least until snow does turn into ice or it melt, flooding the streets with slush.

But Christmas in the South of the world or in a tropical country, repeating all the rituals and clichés of the North that dictate the rules to everyone, lose all his magic. Here the perverted machine of wasting capitals has not his illusory facade: it is like being robbed by a ungly indecent woman, while we have at least the excuse of being enthralled by snake travestied as a fate.

Ok, I cut it short: I am here to say it is time to recover the original meaning of Christmas as birth: not really the birth of Jesus child, that a part being disrespectful for who believes in other religions, very likely was born on another day in another year. And since Christmas is few days before the end of the year in our calendar, let’s make it an opportunity for a new begin!

I want to use this Christmas as a protest consumerism and as act of solidarity with the poor in the world. And the best way to me, more than volunteering, which is always a remarkable thing, or the classical donation that most of rich people use to clean their consciousness, it is trying to live like them for a while.

According to last alarming data, more than three billions people, almost half of the world population, has to survive with less than 2 dollars a day. That make 4.000 colombian pesos or 1,5 euros, at today rate exchange.

Now, in my personal challenge I must take into account I have already paid the rent of my small but comfortable studio, which cost me 600.000 pesos a month. Moreover I have a little stock of food to me basic, but here considered as luxury, like olive oil that cost 20.000 a bottle.

So I’ll lower my daily budget from 1 to 24 of December at 3.000 pesos or 1,14€. That mean, even having all my cheap, simple meals at home, don’t spend a dime in leisure nor in presents, never take the bus (every trip cost 1.500 pesos, one return trip and my daily budget is gone) it will be really hard to meet the challenge.

An example of cost of living: the normal yoghurt I use for breakfast is 6400p per liter and last me 5 days, so almost 1300 are gone for half breakfast. Does it mean I will obliged to fast or change my diet? Ok, then!

It is something appear extreme to me, and surely this is the most difficult time of the year to save money, since everybody are spending more, but it is really a small thing, when you consider one person out of two must live in this conditions through all year, and not out of their choice.

This will be a special Christmas to me, not just because on December 25th is the beginning of Feria de Cali, the biggest event of the city that is hosting me for 7 months now and will also mark my last days here. No it is really a special Christmas this year, because it will mark the beginning of the NBA season!

Merry Christmas

Tools & tricks

World hunger Between my christmas crocks, it would be good think about for a minute on the world we are living today. World poverty

Christmas facts


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  1. “the best thing you can do for the poor is not be one of them” I read somewhere.

    Good luck with your challenge, seems much more than frugality…. it’s voluntarily poverty!

  2. I love both of these games. Good luck GO Lakers, Go Claudio

  3. Hey Cloudio,
    how did this experiment go?
    Did you manage to live in 3000 Pesos a day?

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