Caty was 5 years old when her abdomen was burned. She had put on a little dress, was playing with papers near a candle when they were lit. The traces of that day have been marked on his skin. For this reason, when years later the precarious home of one of his neighbors caught fire at the top of the hill where she lives, she decided that they would no longer be lit with candles. Besides, she was already a mother, and her greatest fear was that the same thing would happen to her daughters.
When she arrived to Las Flores, in San Juan de Lurigancho, she lived in the lower area of the hill; in a rented room. The place where her house is located today seemed ugly to her. Pure rocks. The day she climbed in search of a lot, she changed her mind, because there she would forge her home. Today she is 29 years old and has three daughters of 10, 9 and 5 years old. With a pick and shovel, with her partner and in along with all her neighbors, women and men, they managed to subdue nature through hard days of work.
Caty arrived from La Oroya at the age of 11. Her sister lived here and, as she required help because she had just given birth, she offered to come. In her land she had only completed the first grade of primary school. She did not step on another classroom again. Sure, until she was mom.
She says that she does not read well, does not know how to add or subtract. Due to the pandemic, her daughters do home school and on more than one occasion they have asked her for help. Aware of her limitations, she sought out a neighbor's daughter for support. She does what she can. She accompanies them while they do their homework. "They are flip-flops," she says with a huge smile. Usually, they close the books and notebooks at eight at night. If they want to paint, they stay a little longer. The youngest does not know that her sisters once lit themselves with candles. She is the one who does the best in school. She likes to watch Peppa Pig.
"I feel proud. My daughters are learning what I could not.”
The day will come when they return to the Santa Elizabeth classrooms. Meanwhile, their mother agencies to support them.
As a child, she never wondered what she wanted to be when she grew up. She longs for her daughters to be professionals. For a few months, her family has had access to electricity and her community, with public lighting. Her first receipt came in less than she expected. In other words, today she has one less thing to worry about; and that is also progress.