Farewell, Urbina Station House

After 22 years under his operation, Rodrigo has to return the Urbina station house to the railroad company. The government is reclaiming it for the railway rehabilitation program, in which they will renovate it along with all the other stations. By the end of Jan. 30, he had to have the entire property cleared out.

Rodrigo caries items to his house across the railroad tracks.

Rodrigo caries items to his house across the railroad tracks.

The Urbina station house is unique in that, under Rodrigo’s management, it has been the only station under regular operation in the last 14 years. Here he has housed travelers, provided employment for his team of workers, given workshops on mountain climbing and railroad history, and sold local crafts. It has been a mainstay of Rodrigo’s business for over two decades.

Urbina station house has been a big part of Rodrigo's business for over two decades.

Urbina station house has been a big part of Rodrigo's business for over two decades.

Items that have accumulated over 22 years.

Items that have accumulated over 22 years.

When he originally started running the house, it didn’t even have a bathroom. Rodrigo and his workers installed an addition in the back with toilets, showers and hot water. On the way out, he is now reclaiming the raw materials to use on other projects, including toilets, faucets, and even drywall.

It takes a team of workers to dismantle the bathroom.

It takes a team of workers to dismantle the bathroom.

The drywall is removed from the ceiling.

The drywall is removed from the ceiling.

By the end of the day, the house is empty. Once the renovation is complete, Rodrigo hopes to get the station house back under a new business plan. He would like to run it as a coop, sharing an equal stake with his workers. There is no guarantee, though, that he will be able to regain the property. We’ve been very lucky to be able to stay at the station house on a few occasions and we hope that one day we will be able to return.

Come the end of the day, the house is empty.

Come the end of the day, the house is empty.

Of course, Rodrigo always finds a way to make light of any situation…and this is no exception. Much to his llama’s chagrin, he poses for one last picture.

Rodrigo still finds a way to have fun.

Rodrigo still finds a way to have fun.

Posted by Sandy. 1,050 Comments