“In my own ‘hofi’, I feel happy. I feel like a farmer. I love my garden, my corn and every plant that is edible.”
Selwin is born in Curacao but has lived in the Netherlands for 15 years. The people surrounding him thought he had it all, but still he felt that he wanted to go back to Curaçao.
“Every fiber in my body told me I had to go ‘out of this’ and go to Curaçao to experience something new. To be honest, it wasn’t easy. But I knew it would all turn out well. I don’t regret that I took a chance and went back to Curaçao. I followed my heart and left everything behind in the Netherlands.”
According to Selwin, the biggest difference between the Netherlands and Curaçao is – besides the weather – the island-mindset. There aren’t as many obligations, and people take it easy. Selwin admits that he still has the ‘dutch mindset’. Every now and then it is pretty annoying for him, especially when paperwork needs to be done, he needs a lot of patience and time. However, Selwin says that with some perseverance he can obtain his goals with less stress than in the Netherlands.
“The Curaçao mindset is very laid back and very chill. Which is a curse and a blessing. Personally I think that if you have an income in Curacao, life is very good and you can feel very happy.”
When moving to Curaçao, Selwin made an interesting decision. He decided that he wanted to become a modern farmer.
“I was 5 or 6 years old and my mom came home with empty milk cans. We filled the can with some ground and added a couple of tomato seeds. After a couple of days, me and my brother were amazed about the fact that a little plant was growing. From that moment on, my gardening obsession started.”
Right now, he cultivates a lot of crops in the garden next to his house which he sells to local companies. In the future, Selwin would like to have his own modern kunuku (= a farm on Curaçao). He thinks about using modern techniques like aquaponics – an innovative way to cultivate crops by using fish waste as an organic food source – and also wants to start a goat farm.
How to find your passion
Selwin’s definition of happiness is to follow your passion. Doing something which makes your heart beat faster. When you haven’t found your passion yet, Selwin’s advice is to travel: “When you travel, you get out of your comfort zone and get to know yourself a lot better. In a different environment, you will broaden your horizon and you will find your passion.”
By: Fleur Terpstra