One of the strengths of MEDLIFE’s work in the shantytowns of Lima is the relationships we build with local leaders who are committed to improving conditions in their communities. This week, Raul Flores, leader of the 8 de Diciembre settlement, was featured on Peruvian national television as an “anonymous hero” for his work to improve the community. Check out the full video and English translation below, and try to spot all the red MEDLIFE staircases!
In 2000, Raul Flores left his hometown of Apurimac to make a new living in Lima, Peru’s capital city. He and some of his fellow countrymen settled in one of the most dangerous zones in Villa Maria del Triunfo, and from rocks and sand the Community of 8 de Diciembre was born.
“It is a dream that everyone has, to have a home of their own,” said Raul.
Today, this pueblo joven has water, sewers and electricity in the older part, and hope to extend the services to all of the 140 families in the zone. Getting these services was not easy; Raul had to knock on many different doors.
“We went to many different places, to NGOs, ordinary people, and a lot of friends who are helping us to improve our community,” he said.
At the same time, Raul has to support his family. He works as a taxi driver, and has a wife, child, and an entire community to take care of. “Sometimes I have to make sacrifices at home,” he says. “There’s not enough money because working for the community takes up a lot of my time.”
“We work here for everyone’s sake,” says a neighbor, Wilmer. “We are all very united.” Asked if she was happy with the work, another community member, Rosa adds, “Yes, I can see that there are improvements every day. They are doing a lot.”
Source: Frecuencia Latina