Berguer, Gueña


My gypsy life.


Born the oldest child in an impoverished family in rural Uruguay, Gueña learned early the realities of social injustice. On moving to Montevideo she got a job in a hospital and joined the health union in a period of political chaos. Her commitment to civil rights increased as she joined strikes and did whatever she could to protest against a murderous government. People began disappearing, including close friends. By then married with two small children, Gueña and her husband fled the country, secured political refugee status and later built a new life for themselves in Australia. The family was safe and although life remained hard for Gueña, her genuine love for people and natural generosity saw her through. Pride in her daughters and two grandchildren shines through this story of great courage and simple fortitude.