Wednesday, November 02, 2022 | 5:30 a.m.
Driven by the search for new life experiences, and fundamentally by economics, more and more young missionary lifeguards undertake the challenge of working on the beaches of Brazil, several of which are active throughout the year.
Because of the facilities in terms of the possibility of not having to be nationalized to be able to practice and because of the proximity, these boys choose the state of Santa Catarina. There they undergo the tests imposed by the Military Fire Department of that state and are received from civilian lifeguards and volunteers.
In 2021 there were two, last year three traveled and this year there are six young people -two girls and four boys- who are on Brazilian soil waiting to start the specific course after the qualifying exam of the entity.
They are Florencia Sosa, Franco Cantalupi, Rafael López Del Valle, Gonzalo Baumann, Imanol Acuña and Paola Da Silveira. Five are in Florianópolis and one – who did not do well at that time – went to Torres to take the course.
The Territory spoke with Fabián Fernández, one of the missionaries who has been working in Praia do Santinho, Florianópolis, since last year, about the tests that must be passed to be part of the Santa Catarina Military Fire Department and this growing trend of wanting to emigrate.
They have jet skis and quads at their disposal and they work with the military.
“There are many who write to me and to the boys asking about the course, how much you earn, the paperwork. Most of them do it for the money, they earn very well compared to what a lifeguard earns in Misiones and of course the experience of working at sea, which is different, “he said.
Thus, he explained that the entrance test for the course is eliminatory, although it is not exclusive not to be a lifeguard. According to him, this year 200 people signed up and only 60 entered. For his part, the specific course lasts a month and a half.
This is how Fabián explained it: “More emphasis is placed on the practical part, but in the end several tests are taken: a theoretical one in which you have to get at least 7; the 500-meter swim is taken again in less than 11 minutes, 2,600 meters running in less than 8 minutes, 25 meters of apnea, there is a tow test with a 5-kilo discus in the 50-meter pool.
And he added: “Then there are tests at sea: rescue with a partner and with the element, such as the strap and the fins. Another test is with a partner with whom we have to take out a third party and they take the first aid test with a doll: CPR and oxygen therapy are practiced in the sand while an evaluator asks you questions.
The missionaries, like any Argentine who arrives in Santa Catarina for the course, have an advantage: they are all lifeguards, unlike the Brazilians, who are ‘civilians’, so they get the best scores and the chance to choose before nobody the beaches where they want to work.
With Fabián last year Lucas Spaciuk and Rafael Cassarino entered the Brazilian body. All three had had experiences working on the Costa Sur beach in Posadas. Rafael returned to Argentina, but both Fabián and Lucas did the revalidation a few weeks ago and continue to practice.
In monetary terms, a lifeguard in Brazil is currently earning 208 reais per day and works approximately 20 days a month, this makes a sum of 12,000 reais, which would be about 232,960 pesos, while working in Posadas they get about 70,000 pesos.
“You get paid into your Bank of Brazil account, which is one of the requirements to work. To open that account you have to be a resident, for which you have to do some paperwork: bring an apostilled criminal record from Argentina, an apostilled birth certificate and the rest of the papers are done here, ”he said.
And he added: “The hardest thing is to take the shift, but once you have it, the residency is done quickly. You have the option to do it for free for two years and a paid option that is for ten years. Once you have that, you go to the bank and you can easily open the account, ”he explained on this issue.
In Misiones there are two places to train in this job: the Municipal School of Lifeguards and the Provincial School of Lifeguards. The human resource is extensive and there are not so many beaches of the magnitude that there are in Brazil.
Fabián acknowledged that there are many boys who want to go to Brazil to work in the silver, “but over there it is difficult for them because you have to organize with time, with the silver, the rent (about 1,000 reais), but between two or three you can afford , the food and the passage are cheap”.
Regarding the work mechanism, he commented that it is quite similar to what is done in Misiones with regard to prevention and awareness by talking with families.
However, as there is a significant flow of people, especially in the high season, rescues are more numerous, although they are equipped with quadricycles, jet skis and work in conjunction with the military.
“It is an experience that I recommend to anyone, if you have the energy and time to do it, you will not regret it. You learn a lot of things being here”, closed Fernández.
It is the sum of reais they receive for working 20 days a month, which is equivalent to more than $200,000. On the missionary beaches they earn about $70,000 per month.