RECOVERY

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My husband was finally released in October, and I treated him. They taught me how because we didn't have the resources to hire a nurse. We were living [in the plot] where our little house is today.

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My husband returned to the hospital in November. They told him that it was time for the next surgery. Thank God it went well. With a lot of effort and without overdoing it, he began to arrange things back at the house. He made a temporary roof for the two of us. My children stayed with my in-laws. 

 

Soon after, I learned of a foundation called DISCRU. [It] was supporting people who had not been helped by the government. I went to [their headquarters]. They told me that they were already over-committed and could not help us. They asked me if I had received the total loss money from FONDEN. I said no and showed them my card. I still hadn't spent the 15,000 pesos. 

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About two weeks after, my husband was hanging outside, by the pink wall. We kept that wall because, if we had knocked it down, we would have been left unprotected. So it was the only wall that remained after the earthquake. He removed it little by little and cleaned brick by brick to build something later. 

 

So that day, I came home from work and heard him talking [to someone]. They were from the foundation. They were from different countries, but they had come together to help. They even filmed my husband answering what his house meant to him, [and] we stood by the pink wall. 

 

I don't quite remember the date, but this happened around April [2018]. They explained that there were people who didn't need a new house even though they had signed up with them, so they planned to help others in more need, like us. [They told us] that they were going to provide identical single-story houses for everyone. It wasn't going to be exactly how we wanted it, but it was going to be a house.

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I was one of the last to sign up and, thank God, one of the first to receive a new home. I used the 15,000 [pesos] that the government gave me to feed the construction workers. It wasn't necessary, but I gave them breakfast, lunch, and a small dinner.

 

When they began to build the house, my husband asked if they could leave a setback to build retail spaces facing the street to have some extra income in the future. The new house is roughly half of what my home used to be, [so] so they just left an empty plot out front.

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My husband decided to make the little outdoor kitchen because the new space was very small and the roof was too low, so the house was warmer than usual. 

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I worked for all of 2018 at the library. But on December 28 of that year, I had to start [as a domestic worker] because they told us that there would be no more work there. A new major was coming in.

 

My husband could not work a lot because of his delicate health. In fact, he stopped selling the ice because it was very heavy. He was only working the taxi. So my sister looked for me and told me that there was a job in the neighborhood where she worked. I remember perfectly that it was December 28 because that day was my wedding anniversary. I've been [at the same job] ever since.

 

2019 was a normal year. I worked, and my husband kept finding ways to fix the house little by little. But he always had the leg problem.