Our vendors: Hadassha (Mi Valedor, Mexico City, Mexico)

By Hadassha Fragoso, Mi Valedor

At the age of five, I started working. I lived alone with my little granny. My uncle was an artist and my mum married someone who wasn’t from here and then they went travelling. My gran got knocked down and couldn’t walk. Now and again my uncle sent money while I went out to wash my neighbours’ dishes and those from a bakery in the Tepito neighbourhood of Mexico City.

My issue isn’t homelessness: mine’s suicide. Since I was little, I wanted to find the quickest way to stop my suffering. My mum has continued to despise me, to reject me and I have had complications getting my papers. It’s frustrating. I worked in an airport and in various factories, and when I lived in the U.S. I earned much more in dollars.

Right now, I’m focused on not getting myself depressed. When I can’t do that anymore, I sit myself down against a post, under a tree, looking for a way to keep myself afloat when I feel myself sinking – into nothingness. But here, Mi Valedor is my rock.  Now we have another option: getting together in the building itself. I met the valedoras, the girls that sell the magazine, in a canteen. They have the courage to get close to people with rough faces; maybe the ones with the worst faces can be the best, right?

You come here and you don’t need to pay out lots of money – there’s no excuse. They published my note in volume 10. I sold it to the second person I saw and then I came to buy more magazines and more and more since then. I now know that I have to set aside even just $10 to come and buy two magazines. I always learn something new and it energises me. When I’m feeling down, I walk like a zombie. I go and look for lost people.  Because of this, the Tuesday and Thursday workshops are a lot of help. I come here and now I won’t go astray.

People listen to my story and it makes them shudder. Some don’t have the money to buy the magazine, but I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. The important thing is that the message travels far and wide. People used to close doors on me, but not anymore. I thank God and Mi Valedor. Yes! There can be a change.

Translated from Spanish by Gary McCrossan