Last week the Olive Press did an exclusive interview with Jesus Perez de Tena, a local greengrocer from Sevilla—also crew member for one of flamenco’s greatest dancers Farruquito—who was set on driving 7,000 kilometres to help Ukrainians.
On Tuesday, from the very borders of Ukraine, de Tena has shared with the Olive Press his arduous, heartbreaking yet inspiring journey across Europe and into the very heart of the war zone.
“We have been travelling non-stop for one week, making our way across Europe.” de Tena told the Olive Press. “The day before yesterday we had to enter Ukraine to deliver the medical supplies, leaving them at just 13 km from where some of the main bombing has taken place. The biggest proof for us that we were in Ukraine and just kilometres from the front line was driving past six huge missiles that were lined up on the side of the road, pointing towards Russia.”
“When we returned to the border, the border security had collapsed due to the demand of vehicles with people inside trying to flee the country. Sader still, there was this truly heartbreaking human line that went on for kilometres full of women and children queuing to save their lives.” de Tena added.
Here he shares footage while he waited at the border:
The pair made it back to Poland and to Krakow.
“We have picked up two mothers with their two daughters in Krakow, and now we are going to drive another 1,000km to the north of Poland to collect an 18-year-old girl and an older couple who have relatives in Huelva, but no means of transport to get there,” he said.
Jesus Perez de Tena together with his brother-in-law Sergio have travelled 4,200 km so far.
By the time they return to Sevilla, they would have driven a toilsome 8500 km in 9 days, overcoming many obstacles on the way, bringing back with them seven refugees who have placed their trust and lives in the hands of strangers, the unsung heroes of this senseless, devastating war.
- Exclusive interview: Local hero sets off to deliver critical medical supplies to Ukraine and bring back seven refugees to Spain
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