Miguel Santana

I was born in the parish of Estreito da Calheta, on the Island of Madeira, in the heart of a poor family who lived in the Madeiran countryside. My father was a harsh man. I liked to call myself a ‘rich pauper’, as I would regularly lift up the corner of my father’s mattress, stuffed with sheep’s wool and covered with a sheet littered with flea droppings, in order to steal money. I would use this money to buy food, as he would often punish me, letting me go hungry, among other cowardly deeds. Despite all that, I had many adventures - some dangerous, others not so much.

I was often hungry, miserable and mistreated. Life was so full of obstacles and setbacks! Getting through each day was a constant battle. It wasn’t easy to ‘man up’ and face life. I emigrated to Venezuela at eighteen years of age and went on to work all over Europe, from east to west, north to south. My story has crossed countless horizons.