Pic: Zoe Rodriguez / Guavo Media
Chuy Fajardo is fairly well-known around the world and referred to as the Mexican Werewolf… but beyond the tabloid title, what people often forget is there is also a very human experience behind the facade. In the above video, Chuy speaks frankly about the bullying he has experienced in his life and conveys his overall message for others who may benefit from it.
This week the world also acknowledged ‘Human Rights Day‘ and on many levels Chuy’s life experience represents another perspective on the basics of what we should all be entitled to as fellow human beings, despite our many differences.
Chuy is an exceptional human being. There are only 50 known cases of others who have had the same medical condition known as Hypertrichosis and some of the others are within his family unit.
Chuy is one of them, and his family even got acknowledged for an official world record as the largest amount of family members (nine people in Chuy´s family) with this rare condition that makes them grow hair in diferent parts of their bodies, giving them their unique aesthetic in comparison to others.
His appearance always leaves people in a state of shock: everyone says he looks like a werewolf, the kind you find in the “B” movies or like the character played by Michael J Fox from the TV series Teen Wolf. The reactions he gets daily are various, from smiles to many times during his experience so far, even discrimination.
“I have been beaten for the way I look!” Chuy told us with sad eyes.
“Sometimes I have been asked to leave a restaurant, or to go to somewhere where I can´t be seen by some customers that argue about my face and how it makes them feel sick. It´s not been easy for me at all!”
Even getting a job makes him feel frustrated, because his options always lead him to circus or freakshows, where he dances, juggles, takes pictures with the people, and sometimes cleans the place after the shows.
“Some people have the chance to change their appearance, and they even decide to transform for everything they want, for me there is not even the single hope of doing that. My condition never stops from growing hair, and if I shave it, it gets worse… the hairs grow thicker. Once, a practitioner from a beauty company offered me and my family an experimental treatment, but the price was too high: we could look normal, and eventually get other complications from the chemical elements in that experimental formula. We quit from that deal, and prefer to stay as hairy as usual now!”- Chuy said.
Under the performance guise of The Mexican Werewolf Chuy has traveled around the world on show tours, like one called Hellzapoppin in England, on Guinness World Records TV shows, visiting TV stations from different countries, and always generating different reactions… but again, always as a so-called freak of nature type character. He has also been learning the art of DJ performance in 2014 and has played many sets in and around Mexico. He loves EDM and world fusion music.
But beyond performance, Chuy strongly feels very few people have tried to understand his life experience, and he is rarely asked about the daily human experience behind his sad eyes.
“I grew up in a poor mexican town in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, so the lack of culture was an important factor to peoples reactions to me. I had to quit school when I was 7 years old, because my school mates used to punch me daily, they mocked me about my face. I have always been a short guy, and it was like an invitation for them to bully me further.” … Chuy said as he also accounted moments in his memory he finds difficult to express.
“Even adult people that met me on the street hit me just for the fun of it. I decided to stop studying and going to the fields where they grow vegetables, and started working the land. At least the peasants were less abusive there I thought. The salary wasn´t good of course, so when the circus arrived and took my cousins and myself on tour, we felt it was the right thing to do, so we left our hometown. I don´t regret that… I knew lots of nice people, and traveled around the world. It has been the story of my life ever since!”
That part of his childhood clearly affects Chuy to this very day. He has a limited culture which he admits is down to the isolation he put himself through, but a great heart and great sense of humour too… and now as a father, and head of a family of his very own, he knows that he has to work in any possible way to bring the bread to his table.
He is now worried about his daughters, because they inherited the same condition that has afflicted him and his wider family, and his story is repeating again with his children.
Chuy has now commited to speak against bullying, and whenever he has the chance, spreads his word against violent acts that come from the lack of sensibility of some people.
“As I´ve said before, we have the chance to change the world when we find out that beneath the skin, the colour of our blood is the same. It´s a matter of think a little harder, experience a little more, and get to know each other! That’s surely the most basic requirement for us all, right?!”
Special thanks to Chuy, Caim and P. Rodriguez and his family for coordinating and translation.
(This news feature was on hold from our side and was put together four months ago. Since this time Chuy has had some pressing family matters to deal with and we wish him all the very best. Here’s to a great year ahead for him and his family!)