My name is Alejandro atehortua arboleda. I am homeless. live in the city of Medellin, In Columbia. I am alone. Loneliness is slowly killing me. My face marks me. I have been living with my mouth for nine years.
I collapsed as a teenager and fell unconscious to the floor. They say it was from lack of food. I lost my two front teeth. My speech is affected, I don’t talk much, I never smile. I feel really bad that people see me without teeth and I hear comments about me being a drug addict and stuff.
Nobody knows what really happened to me and how I have to face my day to day life with that defect. I cannot get a job. I think girls move away from me because of my mouth problem. I’m sure it has made me have a little grudge against society.
For in Columbia there is no support, even for the destitute like me. With support from a kind friend I have enough for the simplest of lodging, but it is better than the street. I get enough now for the simplest of foods. But even in a room it is not always clean and there are bed bugs. My friend is trying o find better accomodation for me.
My belongings are in plastic bags and a backpack. I try do dress well and I look for jobs. But my papers have been lost and I need new ones. The cost $65 and without work it is impossible.
At times I think death would be preferable for a guy with missing teeth, no family and no one who cares. I am not the only one like this.
But Peter found me and wants me to tell you my story. I am supported a little by writing this.
(This story is sent via Whatsapp. I talk with Alejandro almost every day. His situation is very real, made worse by Covid and is a snapshot of what life is like for too many people.)