Mexico City is a great metropolis… An urban and eclectic space filled with busy street markets, grand buildings and contemporary structures, historic plazas and astonishing cathedrals. With an on growing population that reaches almost 9 million people of all kinds, the city needs to introduce initiatives that benefit society, as well as generate high incomes or contribute in other ways to the citizenship (for example the opening of cultural or educational spaces, and so on). We can’t deny the fact that, just like any large city of the world, Mexico City has its problems, and needs to address them thoroughly; one of these being homeless inhabitants.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of homeless people living on the streets, and have lived their entire lives without ever having a place of their own… Sadly some are up to the 3rd generation of families that continue living on the streets. This detonates a series of problems: poverty cycles, violence, vandalism and more.
Under such premise and grand problem, a solution has been placed on the table: 26-year old artist Maria Portilla decided to launch a street paper for Mexico City. Supported by a team of 6 brave young women, Maria introduces Mi Valedor, a street newspaper that will provide jobs and incomes for the homeless.
This is the first street paper in Mexico City, and joins the other 114 newspapers in 35 nations of the world, which are all part of the International Network of Street Papers.
Maria states that sadly “…there are very few organizations, or laws from the government, to help homeless people. They are super-excluded…” unfortunately, this portion of the population has very limited access to certain benefits or rights, and lack adequate attention or facilities.
Mexico City’s new street paper is called Mi Valedor and is supported by the INSP program that helps developing street papers. The number one purpose of Mi Valedor is to recruit vendors, who will be selling this publication, earning an income and therefore improve their living situation.
Maria and her team have been working closely with the recruited vendors so far (which sums up to about 10), and have gotten to really know these people. This new street paper in Mexico City has given the people on the streets a new motivation to endure, to never give up and have something to look forward to, since they strongly desire to stop losing themselves on the streets and doing things correctly. The majority agrees that employment is the way to do so, which is exactly what they’re doing!