Our vendors: Camaxtli Ortiz (Mi Valedor, Mexico City, Mexico)

By Camaxtli Ortiz, Mi Valedor

My arrival in the homeless shelter was unforeseen. I was living in Cuernavaca, looking after my mum and working; my siblings always helped me. But I realised I didn’t want to rely too much on my family. I had devoted myself to them and didn’t fully live my own life.

Photo: Mi Valedor

Then, four years ago, I came with my mum and sister to Mexico City to celebrate the festivals. My mum returned home but, as fate would have it, I couldn’t go. Now I’m living my life by hook or by crook, but I’m definitely living it. In the shelter I’ve learned to value myself as a human being, and to motivate myself.

Through the magazine Mi Valedor I’ve learned more, like how to live with a lot of people. It’s not easy because I’m very shy, but little by little I’m getting rid of that. I’m also lucky to be breaking my sales records. I remember once I sold 15 magazines in half an hour. In the workshops I’ve been able to acquire new skills, like knitting; I thought that knitting was done with hooks, but no! You can knit with your fingers!

Saving money has been good for me. Before, I was selling the magazine and doing well, but I spent this money on parties. I never thought about saving… Here we never think about tomorrow. But you must have discipline – like the Japanese!

In the future I’d like to be emotionally stable, and physically too, because I’ve had problems my kidneys and heart. I would like to have house, a car and my own business that I could share with my friends. I hope that it could happen very soon, but it’s going to take time. Mi Valedor has put me on the right track for this, because it teaches me to better appreciate myself and other people.

I used to be one of those people who didn’t think much of the people on the street. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues here, because before I was living in a community that was too rigid. The people on the street have really suffered, the cold, and from time to time people come up to them to hit them or even kill them.

I would say that buying Mi Valedor helps everyone involved: the help’s mutual, and this isn’t just any old magazine.

Translated from Spanish to English by Gary McCrossan