Mónica ‘Cori’ Jiménez is a single mother with five children. "I grew up alone, in the streets," she said. "I never stole anything and I never took drugs." She survives on government assistance and the community soup kitchen. "If it didn’t exist, I don’t know what would have happened to my life and to the lives of my children."
She used to be a 'cartonera' in downtown Buenos Aires for 15 years. She used to take her children out to beg until, in an argument, her older daughter convinced her that it was wrong. Cori combed trash at the municipal trash dump for three months, but she says she stopped because police beat her often and once shot her in the leg with a rubber bullet. After a childhood of mistreatment, Cori hopes life in 8 de Mayo will offer something better to her kids.
"I am 30 and I already want to die," she told a visitor, slowly and deliberately, with her eyes fixed on the ground. "I want my children to be someone in life."