He went to Europe, lived on the streets and today he is a successful businessman. Who is Raúl Cazenave?

When a person believes that he has little chance in a place or seeks to enhance his life in some way, he devises various plans to improve his well-being, even if that means fighting against the uprooting of a land. Such is the case of Raúl Cazenave, who left our country several years ago, had a difficult time and he enjoys the thousands of work and effort.

Cazenave (46) was born in the Buenos Aires town of Zárate, got married with Karina Covello (47), is the father of Tomasso (16) and April (9), who were born in Italy and London, respectively. After several years of struggle and longing, the family lives in the English area of ​​Waltham Cross and Raúl founded his moving company in London.

The truth is that Raúl did not finish high school and played rugby at the Arsenal de Zárate Yacht Club. At the age of 25, he had already managed to open his own pizzeria in that Buenos Aires town and had bought a motorcycle. However, one day he wanted to try his luck in Europe and together with a friend, Eugenio, he went out into the unknown, since he had never traveled.

“I went to Italy as an adventure because I was fine in Zárate, but I had that impulse to want to go and try my luck in Europe. I left without knowing what was going to happen. I told Eugenio and he wanted to accompany me. We went together. On March 6, 2002, we arrived in Rome with the few dollars we had with us: they were a ridiculous sum and we could not even afford the pizza. He was dressed in shorts and loafers, but Italy welcomed us with 18 degrees below zero and a meter and a half of snow … That was the welcome (laughs) ”, Cazenave said.

Part of the Raúl Cazenave family.

A few days later, Eugenio asked him to accompany him to the Italian city of Treviso because his family was originally from there. “We arrived by train but we had no money to eat, no place to sleep and we did not speak a language other than Spanish. Suddenly, a woman was about to load gasoline and did not understand how the meter worked. I went over to help her and she couldn’t stand the hunger she was anymore. I asked him if he could give us a hand and he drove us to his house. It was our angel. He served us food, but later, he also helped us with the documentation to become citizens and even got us work in exchange for food and shelter. We had no problem sleeping in churches in exchange for changing their lamps, we cut grass, painted houses … We did whatever it took, in exchange for a sandwich and a roof ”, said.

“In 2003, with papers in Europe, everything was easier. We even got many job offers but we made a great sacrifice, because we would eat anything and sleep where we could. Based on a lot of effort and work, I was able to buy a house in Treviso, where I lived for 8 years. Then, I decided it was time to look for new job opportunities and I went to Santander, in Spain ”, Indian.

Raúl explained that he was able to get a mortgage loan since the installments were fixed and for 20 years he paid the same amount. “That is a great peace of mind. Although these countries have problems, economic stability is always there. Not to mention security: you can go out at any time and you know that nothing is wrong with you. You don’t even need to put bars on your house ”, stressed.

Barely got to Spain, he started looking for work and began cleaning windows. Later, he got a job in a gym, something unexpected because he was not a teacher, although he played rugby very well.

Raúl had a stint in Italy but he left.

“I’m 1.87 meters tall and at that time I weighed 125 kilos because I did a lot of weights. I wasn’t a gym teacher but I needed to work, so every night I would prepare the next day’s classes at home. I searched for tutorials on Google and gave classes in step, localized gymnastics, boxing … I think I went through all the variations (laughs). I went to watch videos on YouTube and my family followed behind me, because I gave them the class to be able to practice. They ended up loving me very much and people lined up to take my classes. But in 2009 I went to see a friend in London. I arrived on Monday and on Tuesday I was already working, this time as a waiter. As you will realize, my life is to work and I don’t care about what ”, he claimed.

After that work, he worked as a bricklayer and laid the stones of the sidewalks for the municipality of Santander … “I did everything and without problem, because everything generated work and profit for me. In time, I went to work for London’s Central Market, driving a van. On 2011, I was encouraged and with my wife – without speaking a word of English – I opened my own moving house A10 Removals. From day one, we never stop again and here we are, “he said with pride.

“Moving a world opens up for you because, on top of the truck, everyone tells you about their problems and you become a kind of psychologist. Customers become friends and even invite you to eat at their homes. One day Mariano Galarza, one of Los Pumas, contacted me and from there I made the moves of six other players from the team to France and Scotland. There are seven of us in the company and we had a great time. We have fun and people are happy. It is very easy to live in London. It is not the best country to live like crazy, because it is expensive and, if you live wasting, you do not grow. And, in order not to progress, I would prefer to be in Zárate … Without progressing but with my friends ”, assured Infobae.

“Do not believe that butter is thrown on the ceiling here. It is very hard, it is total loneliness, it is fixing oneself and having no one. My wife had our two children and could not be with her mother by her side. You have to fix yourself. Coming to Europe is not a grace: you have to come to earn a living ”, he claimed.

Life stories: not all that glitters is gold

“It’s not easy for someone to tell you when they lose … they only tell you when they win. I’m sure there are more people who come to try and return to Argentina than those who can stay. There are many brakes. Is not easy. You can’t just show up and pretend to be a great entrepreneur overnight. You have to adjust to the situation. You have to start quietly to grow in the possibilities. You are a number, because you are not from here and you will never finish being one. You will not have anyone to give you a hand, as you do in Argentina, and you have to fix yourself. For this reason, it is very difficult to progress and get ahead ”, stressed.

For a couple of years, he has assured that receives several newspaper calls from Argentines who want to emigrate to London. Raúl helps them with what he can: he gives them work and warns them not to arrive without papers, because there is no chance that they will be able to get a job.

The moving company “goes up”.

“Every week, Argentines call me who want to leave and ask me to make a contract for them to work in my company. They want to live here and I help them however I can … but I can’t help everyone. They helped me a lot when I arrived and I do the same now. At least I pay them for a day’s work and with that they can eat for a week, but it is not easy to bring people. Many believe that, because I have a company, I can make them a contract and a work visa, but I can’t, because the Government asks you why you don’t hire a local ”, said.

Although the first years were very hard, Raúl never forgets them and feels grateful for all the help he received in a selfless way. His friend Eugenio accompanied him for the first three years, but then he returned to Argentina because he could not bear to make so much sacrifice. However, for Raúl that was not an option, not even in the most difficult moments, such as when his stomach was cracking with hunger.

Thinking about the past

“Every day I think about the early days … It was a very strong experience. I slept in churches, in a hospital for children with mental disabilities, in a train station leaning back to back with my friend … I lost pounds and pounds because I didn’t have enough to eat. I always remember it and I tell it to my children. There is a lot of attachment between the Italian and the Argentine and they helped us a lot. They gave us work in exchange for sleeping and eating, or a shower. We were young but very serious boys. We did not drink, we did not smoke … Therefore, they opened the doors of their houses to us to live with them ”, Indian.

It should be noted that he never thought of returning to Argentina, even when hunger and sleep haunted him daily. “The idea of ​​going back did not cross my mind. It is important to be serious and not give yourself all the tastes as soon as you arrive because it is going well for you. I tell all the guys who work with me and I advise them to save. I do two accounts for them and I show them that in 10 years they will buy their house, with a basic salary. I bought my house in Italy and also the one in England ”, he claimed.

“If you want to have the latest phone number, you like to drink, smoke or go out every night after work, you will save little. A single person, who works as a dishwasher in a restaurant, lives well and saves some money. Salaries are not agreed between employee and employer, but are determined by the Government. The newcomer earns $ 8.75 per hour working as a waiter, dishwasher, at a gas station, as a moving assistant, or as a grocery store manager. Later, you grow but with a weekly salary you can rent a room, eat, get dressed, buy a phone, pay for your trips, save some money and go on vacation once a year. Here you will never deprive yourself of being able to buy a pair of sneakers “, said.

“To those who criticize those who come to wash glasses, I tell them to come and try. When the work day is over, they pay you what the government says and they don’t give you what the owner wants, but when you go home you are alone. Anyone who comes here to do this type of work does it out of necessity because, if he were well in his country, he would not leave. Necessity moves you to leave and, when you leave, you are forced to do those jobs because something else, from the outset, you are not going to get. Doing that job you can live well … but when you get home you will be alone “, warned.

Raúl Cazenave: he only returned three times

Since he went to Europe, 21 years ago, he only returned three times to Argentina And in 2015 he wanted to open a business here, but was quickly discouraged.

“It makes me very sad to hear the news from Argentina and see how the country is doing. In 2015, I went to Córdoba to open my transport company, but it was impossible. In London, you just have to go to the Government page, put a value and after two days you get all the codes you need, for example, to pay salaries. Ready. There is no bureaucracy. You open the company and get to work right away. You pay taxes based on what you earn and after the first year, so you don’t have to pay anything up front. It is very simple and easy. On the other hand, to open something in Argentina and be in order … It is impossible! They drown you with the amount of taxes. Here, I pay two a year: VAT (20%) and the contribution per company (10%). That’s all, regardless of the very high quality of life that this country has ”, he claimed. “The only adrenaline rush in London is waiting for the quarterly electricity and gas bills to arrive.”

At 46, he plans to retire soon from the day-to-day business, which he plans to follow closely from home. Anyway, it is already clear that your retirement will be in another country you already know very well, but it is not about the Argentina.

Raúl Cazenave highlighted the effort he makes on a daily basis.

“I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I never stop working, even if I am the owner. I’m always on the phone. I have 6 employees and I work as one more. The manager charges $ 2,500 per month. With that salary you live well on the outskirts of London, not in the center, but it allows you to rent a house, go on vacation once a year and save some money every month. But of course, if you want to live in the center, with that money you will not be able to do it “, explained.

“I want to work two more years and retire. But later, I will manage everything from my house. A week ago, they offered me $ 400,000 to stay with the company, but I told them that with that money they did not even reach 10% of its value. I want to enjoy other things and I want to go live in Spain. Good weather, good food, the same language and excellent beaches. Now, after so much effort, I have to enjoy life as a family ”, ended.

Leave a Comment