Uruguay President, Jose Mujica, Donates Most Of His Pay To Charity

uruguay president mujica poor

If the world has an impoverished president, it may be Jose Mujica, the current head of state in Uruguay, the South American nation of some 3.3 million people that's about the size of Washington state.

As BBC News reports, President Mujica (pictured above) shunned the luxurious house that Uruguay provides for its leaders and stays at his wife's farmhouse, located off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo.

Beyond eschewing physical comforts that go along with being Uruguay's chief executive, Mujica donates around 90 percent of his monthly salary -- about $12,000 -- to charity, and so is labeled the world's poorest president.

Mujica admits that he may appear eccentric. "But this is a free choice," he says.

Mujica's charitable donations, which bring his salary roughly in line with the average Uruguayan's income of $775 a month, benefit the poor and small entrepreneurs, says the BBC.

His personal wealth, which Uruguayan law requires public officials to disclose, was about $1,800 in 2010 -- the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. This year, he added half of his wife's assets -- land, tractors and a house -- valued at $215,000.

"I've lived like this most of my life," he told the BBC. "I can live well with what I have."

Mujica's lifestyle is especially austere when compared to his American counterpart, Barack Obama, though there is one similarity. Mujica and his wife work their land themselves, growing flowers, not unlike Michelle Obama, who cultivates a 1,100-square-foot vegetable garden -- albeit on the South Lawn of the White House.

Mujica says that he is driven in his choices by concern for the world's poor. He questions whether the planet has enough resources for 7 or 8 billion people to consume and produce waste in the way many Western societies do.

"It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet," he says.

What's more, he says, many world leaders are pushing their nations toward a modern consumer economy as a way to build prosperity. But that achievement would likely mean "the end of the world," Mujica says.

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

More From AOL Jobs

Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Humera Anwer

so nice man ........world hero

May 17 2013 at 1:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

They used this article to praise Micheal Obama. what a farce!!!!

November 20 2012 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

that type of governing should be taught in school!

November 20 2012 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many Latin American countries are going in this direction, democratically ousting the puppets that the US has had in place for decades and electing leaders who really care about the people. This includes Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who is constantly demonized by the American press but glorified by most of the rest of the world who looks at him objectively. The US government does not like to see countries becoming independent, which is to say not tied up in the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund. These organizations work to entrap countries with debt after the US gives them giant financial aid loans which they are required to spend on contracts with US corporations and banks. It scares the US to think about not having the rest of the world relying and indebted to them.

You can bet that the US Military-Industrial complex will have its eye on this part of the world again after the Middle East is sufficiently pillaged. Either that will happen and he world will continue to move in a negative direction, or more leaders and people around the world will be inspired by the newly elevated standards in morality in many of these governments in Latin America, and the world will move in a more positive direction.

If you're interested in the reality of the region and the US's involvement which is blacked out of their history books, some good books are "Failed States" and "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, "Open Veins of Latin America" by Eduardo Galeano, and I'd recommend the documentary "South of the Border" by Oliver Stone.

November 20 2012 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dennis Faulkner

Obama - are you listening? We can sell 1600 Pennsylvania avenue -

November 20 2012 at 3:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thumbs up to a leader who cares and wants to be just like his neighbor. We need more like him : ) In all levels of politics/ gov -It is an Honor to serve a country-not the other way around.

November 20 2012 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I once read in Ian Smith's book The Great Betrayal, when the world's diplomats came to visit Rhodesia, "There were more Mercedes than the entire factory in Germany had." Our leaders are all rich ******** as George Carlin would put it and they don't give a **** about you. They live a life of luxury and don't contribute anything to society other than avarice. I have never heard of this man before and will do more reading about him, but so far I like the man. Only way world leaders will do right by the people is us driving their greedy, overpaid, power hungry and worthless asses out of office. I find it funny in the US that congress votes on their own pay increases, but made the stipulation for minimum wage that people working the capitol aren't legally entitled to be paid that. **** our oversized military budget, politicians and their over inflated salaries, benefits and so on and **** the duopoly we have in the US; both parties are the same rich ******** letting you vote to give you the illusion that you have rights and choices.

November 20 2012 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We need this to be the norm!!!

Rule out of love of country, love for people not lust for power, money and prestige.

November 20 2012 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, Mr. Jose Mujica's selfless actions are sending a message to the rest of the world's leaders....

November 20 2012 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very wise man, Mr. Mujica. God bless you for sharing your income with those less fortunate.

November 20 2012 at 12:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web