There is no epic in Lima poverty. In the San Pedro hill, in El Agustino, for example, there are only difficult to climb slopes and streets undermined by dog feces and empty PBC ketes. From the top, every square meter of space seems to have been occupied by flimsy houses. This is no longer a hill. There was one more than forty years ago, today there is only one vertical, gray city with more than 20,000 inhabitants and 34 police officers for that population.
In the midst of this precariousness, of the daily fights, the runaway mototaxis and men consumed by alcohol, there are people who are looking forward Women like Jenny Palomino Romero who leaves her almost two-year-old daughter every day in one of the four children’s shelters run by the parish Santa Magdalena Sofia Barat in The Augustine. If it were not for this service, which costs S / 3 a day, she could not work in peace.
Jenny knows, for example, that at the Niña Maria hostel her daughter will receive adequate breakfast and lunch. The main thing, for her, is that her child will be safe while she works from sun to sun. “[Los vecinos] they spread the word to you when they treat children well or have them very clean, they are known, ”says Jenny, who is aware that children who grow up on San Pedro Hill are exposed to more dangers than children.
What is it like to live in San Pedro? How do you support a family with less than S / 328 per month? With much effort and creativity, says Mishan Huamán Baldeón, a mother who sells clam ceviche for fifteen soles a day and must keep more than three people at home. Everyone does what they can, but things get complicated when you have to travel by bus more than three hours a day to get to a textile factory in Ate, as happened to several interviewees by Trade.
Life is not easy in San Pedro. But it is more bearable thanks to people like the priest Walter Arturo Alcos, who leads the Santa Magdalena Parish Sofia Barat. He has been working at El Agustino for fifteen years and has witnessed several stories of neighborhood solidarity and also the worst of violence. How not to get discouraged? Father Alcos says that the important thing is the formation of the new generations. That motivates him every day to launch the four nurseries and face adversity with a good face.