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Jose Mujica, The Poorest President in the World
José Mujica, the 77 year old former President of Uruguay [2010-15], a tiny country in Latin America, preferred to live on his modest farm instead of the majestic Presidential residence. One could see clothes hanging for drying outside his modest hut which had shrubs and trees around, besides his floriculture cultivation for which he personally tilled with his tractor. He would welcome his uninvited guests by preparing Mate, a traditional drink served in a guampa, a type of cup made from hollow gourd.
Mujica is a vegetarian and never wore a tie. The road leading to his humble residence was not even paved. All the possession he had was 1,800 dollars, and an old car which he used to drive himself. The land, his house and his tractor belonged to his wife who was a Senator. He led an austere lifestyle and donated around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefited poor people and small entrepreneurs. His security was handled by two plain clothes policemen guarding his home. He used to move around like a common citizen.
Once he was spotted by a young man eating at an ordinary restaurant near the seaside where he was on a holiday with his family. This young person recognized him and put this information on Facebook. Reading his post on Facebook, thousands of citizens of that country were surprised and one reader posted this comment, “Ours must be the only country where you would find a President with his wife eating at an ordinary restaurant and that too without any security!” He was inspired by the Cuban revolution and has also spent 14 years in jail. In 1985 he was released after a new government was installed.
Because of his simple living, he had become a topic of discussion around the world during his tenure. He had remarked at that time that poor is not the one who has no material possession, but poor is the person who accumulates in his greed for wanting more and more.
Not only does he lead a simple life, but also advises and advocates simple living to the others in the world.