Augustin Ayala Martinez started working as a cleaner for the municipality, but shortly after decided to follow his passion: gardening. A colleague encouraged and helped him to make the transition 40 years ago. Since then, he has been working as the gardener and landscape designer at Parque de Quiñones, Pimentel's Plaza de Armas.
The best tree to sculpt is a cypress. I come up with an idea for a sculpture or an arrangement of flowers, order all the necessary plants and then start working on site. If I realize it doesn't work out the way I want, I improvise. Sometimes I lie awake at night and think about how I can improve the sculpture.
Gardening is a form of art. I am always happy when people walk by and tell me how much they enjoy the park, or how they discovered a new sculpture.
Augustin's favorite and most sophisticated sculpture is the crocodile.
Trinidad and I meet Augustin and his wife Ameli during their lunch break under one of the biggest trees in the park. Ameli joined his work 25 years ago. None of their children pursues a career in gardening, but one of their sons sometimes looks after the park. Grandson James tells me he wants to become a policeman when he grows up. He picks up the big scissors and starts trimming the grass. Maybe there is still hope for continuing the family business.
Every village and city in Peru has a square called the "Plaza de Armas". It is the center of public life and usually the cleanest spot in town.