Estela Vazquez lives in Los Copihues, a town located in the highest part of a hill in Talcahuano. I arrived to her house at around 7:30 in the evening, against the advice from many the people there, who warned me against walking to her house alone at night, but when I got off the bus, I just found a little street with small houses, a bit dark, but with many friendly neighbors that kindly showed me how to get to her house.
Estela lives with her husband and kids, and despite just returning to the house after a long day of work, she invited me to chat about her current situation over a delicious cup of tea. Eventhough the region was pretty damaged by the earthquake, she fortunately hasn’t suffered a lot, and neither has her workshop.
Estela has been producing wooden mobiles, hand-painted that she markets among neighbors, friends, and other acquaintances. And given the fact that her sales have reduced dramatically because of the earthquake, she is now working temporarily in a preschool in order to generate enough income to pay for her children’s education.
She tells me that she doesn’t have any immediate needs, only that she wants to be able to work doing what she likes, her handicrafts.
I left just past 9 pm with a light drizzle and a brief aftershock.
Translation: Johanne Dolle