A few days ago, a group of resigned tourists was taking care of taking out a brand new Toyota Hilux 4×4 truck embedded in a beach in Las Grutas when on the horizon, crossing the rising waves and avoiding huge stones and the sharp edge of the ravine, it appeared a beat-up 1974 Ford 100. He literally “walked” on the water.
Laughter covered the astonishment and surprise of those present. The machine without hood and loaded to the excess of wood and other utensils, advanced without avoiding the high tide of the San Matías Gulf as if it were a boat. Once the difficult section was over, his driver, Cristian Firmapaz (35), a local grocer, greeted the visitors who recorded his feat with a cell phone, stepped on the gas and got lost on the coast. An advertisement as real as it is unthinkable.
“All of us, all of us are here because a Hilux got stuck,” exclaims one of the people next to the truck, incredulous of what their eyes observed. It happened on December 18.
The video, of course, recorded in the El Sótano area, went viral. And his story had such an impact on the audience that Ford itself contacted the artisanal fisherman by phone to offer you the complete restoration of your work vehicle.
The grocer acquired it in 2018, but learned to drive a few years ago in an even older Ford model. Although the help is not bad for him, Firmapaz admits that he did not transfer the vehicle since he himself assembled it for the most part with sections of other similar vehicles. Some of them are discards, other purchases of used fractions that did not leave evidence of a transaction. The engine, for example, is a V6 and originally this flat came with a V8, he details. Without the transfer, the company indicated that it cannot initiate the deserved arrangements.
Cristian and his old F-100, by the sea. The grocer from Las Grutas went viral crossing the waves with his truck.
Ford would have been willing to provide a manager to speed up the process. For now, the thing is left to see. Meanwhile his ’74 Ford 100 it has never left it to leg and much less in the waterexplains the Clarion the fisherman and man of the moment. “The phone doesn’t stop ringing, and I answer it and I don’t have time to work. That’s how fame is, they tell me here, but for fame I’m going to starve”He jokes.
The effervescence reached such a point that on Facebook friends and acquaintances of Firmapaz uploaded a page called: “Let FORD give Cristian Firmapaz a truck as a gift.” It has 8,500 members. The original idea was to request a 0 kilometer truck from the company, but after Ford’s call it became a space where donations destined for the humble family of grocers are collected. “I am very grateful to those people who want to help me in another way,” he stresses. He has a wife, Viviana, and three children, ages 18, 11 and 7.
Firmapaz is part of the community of pulperos de Las Grutas, who live in humble squares located between San Antonio Oeste and Las Grutas. They are houses built with wood and barely covered with sheets and remains of other properties. From this point they leave armed with their hooks, towards El Sótano, Fuerte Argentino, among other “picadas”. In season They spend the morning and afternoon capturing the octopuses they sell to wholesalers and restaurants. A good day, say artisanal fishermen, can mean catching 50 octopuses or the equivalent of a kilo. That kilo could be sold at wholesale this summer for between 350 and 500 pesos. In winter many craftsmen work as bricklayers.
But Firmapaz has his “ranch” right where he pulses, in Fuerte Argentino, about 15 kilometers from his house in the La Loma neighborhood of San Antonio Oeste. “When we pulp, we go out at three in the morning and sometimes we continue until the afternoon,” he details. When he is not in the sea, the fisherman sells firewood that he finds in the mountains. “I go out at three or four in the morning and go into fields without a road, the truck gets used up a lot there, that’s why I’m always looking for old parts in the workshops, I also go to the garbage dumps and if I don’t look for old tires, thrown away there, some work, ”he says.
Just the day that Firmapaz was recorded I came back from looking for firewood in the harsh desert that surrounds Las Grutas and converges in the San Matías Gulf. He was tired and how he trusts his truck decided to cut the way down the beach. The rest is known history. “Hopefully something can be done with the processing of the truck, hopefully,” says the fisherman. There is no anger in his voice, but no hope.
Black river. Correspondent