Friday, January 30, 2015

Chilean Gaucho Faustino Barrientos

Admittedly, I only found one picture of him wearing a boina - he wears a casquette most of the time, but his story is too good not to relate here.
Faustino Barrientos is a gaucho who has spent more than 46 years in isolation by Lake O'Higgins - one of the most remote corners of the world. Since 1965, Barrientos has worked as a horse-riding rancher and shepherd living in the southern swath of Chile and Argentina.
In December, he was visited by journalists from Vice, an independent media company in Brooklyn, New York. It took the reporters four days to travel to his home, made from a salvaged fishing boat.
'I don't need money,' he told them after welcoming them to his home. 'I have enough to eat. Life seems to be better when you're alone.
Barrientos grew up on the shores of Lake O'Higgins but after his 11 siblings moved away and Pinochet started rising up the ranks of power, he moved to Argentina.
While travelling around the country and working at construction jobs, he picked up the skills to sustain himself when he returned to the craggy, mountainous Patagonia of Chile.
Lake O'Higgins is one of the most remote areas of Patagonia and is the least populated region in Chile. It is also one of the world's most sparsely populated places outside Antarctica.
Barrientos's land has two buildings - a small hut where he sleeps, eats, listens to the radio and pours over stacks of newspapers when they are delivered to him twice a year.
The other building stores boxes of food - tins of soups and desserts, bags of sugar and flour, tubs of lard - which are delivered by a boat that has started passing his quiet corner every ten days.
He also survives on cows and sheep reared on his land, and he keeps track of time with a calendar that he marks off everyday.
Read the full article here


  1. Well done Faustino..., I hope you're still above ground and in good health.
    Viva !!!

  2. Does anyone know if hes still alive? writing this in 2018

  3. i was curious if he was still alive too.