Valéria Andrade do Nascimento

"I'm ashamed by the entrance to my apartment building"

Coming from
Vila da Amoedo Vila da Amoedo

Now living in
MCMV - Condomínio Terni: Estrada dos Caboclos, 1185, Campo Grande MCMV - Condomínio Terni: Estrada dos Caboclos, 1185, Campo Grande

I left Vila Amoedo and we were sent to Campo Grande, to a Minha Casa, Minha Vida government building. I remember when there was a lot of traffic on the Avenida das Americas we would rush to sell water, beer and sweets. It was in the middle of nature. Early in the morning, we always used to see the capybaras, and sometimes snakes. I miss having those chats about how people had almost trod on a snake! I miss it a lot.

They went there and measured everything in my house, which I was still building. They took photos and noted down my name. It was very quick after that, in the same year. In the same year that they measured everything, they were already sending us with all our documents to City Hall. There, those who wanted money took their money, and those who didn’t got a house, and went. For my house, they offered me 5,000. With 5,000, what am I going to do? I wouldn’t even be able to buy a lot of land with that. So I chose to accept the house.

So everyone made an agreement for a house, because it was more equivalent, because for that value, we wouldn’t be able to buy even a piece of land. A lot of people cried, because it was a place which a lot of people liked. Your whole story is there, you were brought up there, I had my children there. To start a new life, in a place we didn’t know well, was a bit difficult, you know?

About half the community accepted the offer of a house and came here to Campo Grande. We were enchanted by the houses. So beautiful, very green, lovely, lovely, lovely. Once we started to arrive, everyone was incensed. At first, we had thought they would put eeryone in the first building here, where there are very few houses. Since we were a small community in Recreio, we thought we would be the first. But we were sent to the second, and we didn’t like it much. As I grew up in Recreio, there were high level people who wanted to get to know my house. But I only got to know them through the TV, at the time of the invasions, which they had for the second time.

[Who invade them?]

People who were angry, on social rent, those who were promised a place and never got it, and they ended up invading houses which already belonged to people, that had come from different situations. The Federal Police came, there were police on horseback, I don’t know what you call them, there were City Hall cars… it was difficult. It was like being in Complexo do Alemao. I had never seen so many police in my life, armed – they had their reasons, but it was tough.

As I had been here a while, afraid, I ended up going to Vargem Grande to live in a house with someone I knew, as I didn’t feel comfortable here anymore. I was scared in my own house, as I was alone. I didn’t feel safe, and I was ashamed. Not by my house, but by the entrance to my building. Speaking for myself: ever since I left Recreio, I never managed to work again. Companies sent me away, because they didn’t want to pay for four journeys [by bus] to get to work. At that time, the bus rapid transit system (BRT) wasn’t ready. The conclusion: I still haven’t managed to find work. You have to go to Recreio to find it, because here they want to pay you very little. To earn so little, I would prefer to stay in the house looking after my children.
I miss being able to go to the beach, the supermarket, of trustworthy people I could leave my children with when I went to work, that’s what I miss, because my neighbours in Recreio were no longer just neighbours for me, I considered them family. I don’t think I could handle it, to see something knocked down where I was brought up.

Reporter: Giulia Afiune e Mariana Simões

Photographer: Giulia Afiune e Mariana Simões | Edição: Lara Norgaard

My journey

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