Photo credit: Amanda nero
I came to São Paulo 12 years ago when I could not find a fixed job in Peru. I wanted to go to the United States, but my visa was declined. So I came here to take care of an old Jewish lady. I think that everyone should be able to leave their country in search of new experiences and opportunities.
When I arrived, I lived in one room with six Brazilian girls. They were young therapist students and as I was the oldest, I’d always ask: “Did you take your medicine? Did you take your umbrella?” I felt responsible for them.
Years later I started volunteering at Missão Paz, an NGO helping migrants get documents. The volunteering became a job and now I work as a secretary at Missão Paz. I also give manicure workshops for female migrants. While I teach them a profession we speak about anything. This is a place where they can share their problems and I can give them some counselling.
I’m happy to participate in the multiculturalism of this city. We organize events during Peruvian holidays and we prepare our traditional food. Brazilians are learning to like Peruvian food and I can tell you that Ceviche is one of their favourite dishes!
If I look back at my experience, I feel in a certain way that to cross a border is like to cut the umbilical cord. At some point you start to grow new roots in a new place. Friends came to me and said, “Now you cannot leave, you belong to Brazil!”