My name is Jose Alejandro atehortua arboleda. I am homeless. I am unemployed. I live in Bogota, Columbia, South America.
I am writing to explain to you what being homeless and alone is like in my country, in my city, in the middle of the Pandemic, I survive because I must. I want you to know my story. I write for Buzz Magazine. I write for my friend Peter.
I was born in the second biggest city in Columbia, Medellin. I am an orphan. My mother could not care for me, she was destitute and lived in orphanages and on the street. I had no father.
I studied in several schools of Columbia, unfortunately the life I have been leading since leaving school has not been very good, lets say that until now I have not been able to carry out all my studies.
I grew up in various orphanages and boarding schools in Medellin until I was 18 years old. My mother died that year. Even after 5 years since my mother died, I still have that pain in my chest that is slowly killing me inside.
After my mother died I was tipped out onto the street to survive.
I have had to survive for 6 years on the streets of Medellin without help from anyone. There is no Government assistance for people like me. I don’t know where I draw my strength. I have resisted drugs.
Because I have not had the opportunity to have stability or a job to be able to support myself every day, I have had to survive the dangers of the city streets and have had to live on the street, sometimes I find enough money to live in a room. Every day and at other times I am hungry.
I am alone in this city. I don’t have anyone, no one can give me help that I need, so it can be said I’m just struggling to get ahead as God intended.
I have been robbed and stabbed, I have slept under bridges and run from the police. There is little or no support. Miraculously I am still alive.
Peter found me. He wants me to tell my story. Of life in a country far away. Where life is cheap. I will tell you more next time.
My name is Alej. I am twenty-four years old.