[Translated from Spanish]

“I’ve been in the streets since my parents died.  Sometimes, I can stay in a hotel, but others I have to stay in the street.  I usually sleep in a park – today I am in Alameda – but sometimes I take the metro to another place.  

When we sing or dance or play music on the street, the police see us as ‘not clean’ and don’t let us do anything honest like that to earn money.  So without a job and without a chance to earn money by performing, we don’t know what else to do.

I am always in negotiation with the cops.  Because you can’t beg for money and they also don’t allow you to perform music or dance on the street.  So how are we supposed to eat?

That is the question that I ask the police every day.  They know that there is a problem, but they choose not to change it.  The government is the same way.  Being on the streets is a one-way-street!

I have acquaintances here in the streets, but not friends.  I have not stayed in contact with most of the people I used to know.  I don’t want to contact them now, after all this time, and while I am in this position.

I know where to go and when.  I am smart.  Street smart.  I make things work.”

Alejandro (Mexico City, Mexico)