Griselda welcomed Mario and the rest of the group into a meeting room of the size of a large classroom that would serve a class of thirty. That was the front part of her house where she holds the meetings of her organization every Saturday at 3:00 pm. The more than modest house is a building that she built with her own hands, a clear representation of Griselda’s enthusiasm and perseverance.

As we start talking to her we can notice the happiness to receive us and the simplicity of her words. “My friends come to ask me ‘Griselda, where can we go for a meal?’. I tell them that we will find a place. I ask them to be patient. Then we go together and ask in the grocery store to give us whatever they can help us with. Sometimes we also go to the municipality to ask for goodies. We are never sure whether we will find a place to eat the next day.”

Griselda, as several hundred thousand Peruvians, settled in the suburbs of Lima escaping from the insecurity created in the country side by terrorist groups like “Shining Path”; and searching for a better quality of life in the big grey city. The places that the immigrants found were hills of sand in the middle of a semi-dessert, without access to water or electricity. Little by little, the new residents like Griselda were creating communities that soon new became districts of the metropolitan Lima. Districts like Ano Nuevo, where Griselda lives, struggled to get recognition and assistance from the central government and now we can observe streets with pavement and some public places like plazas and soccer fields. Nonetheless, poverty is still a great part of the reality of its inhabitants.

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