Maria Ester de Souza

"At the beginning, everyone in the occupation stuck together."

Coming from
Rua da Gamboa, 111. Ocupação Machado de Assis Rua da Gamboa, 111. Ocupação Machado de Assis

Now living in
MCMV - Condomínio Ayres: Avenida Santa Cruz, 7190, Senador Camará MCMV - Condomínio Ayres: Avenida Santa Cruz, 7190, Senador Camará

At the beginning, it was everyone together, helping each other. There was a kitchen which we all worked in, and everyone helped. I was one of them, I helped in the kitchen, it was great. Then people started leaving, so the thing with the kitchen didn’t carry on. I just cooked in my room. At the beginning, it was great, but by the end, it was really bad. It was a three-year struggle to get this place. A lot of people left, and when it was over, it was over, there was no way anymore.

There was a meeting, there was a woman there, and she started taking everyone to City Hall.

[Did City Hall ever tell you why you had to leave?]

Once, they said that was a place people weren’t allowed to live. So, we all had to leave, one way or another. They offered for us to come and sort everything out with us and take us here. So they put us in accommodation here. There was a big confusion there, a lot of fighting, the police came too. It was horrible. My granddaughter, she wasn’t even a month old yet, and they came in and put loads of pepper spray everywhere. It was a terrible thing.

[Is there anything good about living here?]

There aren’t many things close by for you here. People prefer living down there, for jobs and services. I have personal problems and diabetes, so in some ways I prefer not to work. I’m not able to work anymore, I just look after the grandchildren. It is far away, but we will slowly get used to it. It was a better environment there. Maybe we will end up leaving here to go to another place. We’ll stay here for now.

My journey

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