Rubí and her mother were forced to abandon their land in Colombia and flee to Ecuador after having endured over five years of threats, harassment and theft. Aged 16, Rubí had to abandon education to help her mother survive and pay rent. They could only afford to eat once a day:
“I worked collecting plastic bottles or doing house cleaning. This was painful work as the house owner asked me to clean pipes and I injured my hand. We sought help from the government of Ecuador but they told us that we were refugees and should consider going home.”
Rubí got pregnant and lost her job. She and her mother found a small room with no running water or cooking facilities. Its dampness began to affect her health. Fortunately, her mother was offered a room in a community hall in return for caretaking duties. This transformed their lives. After giving birth, Rubí was able to return to school and hopes to continue studying to improve their family income. She knows they may be asked to leave the community hall. She hopes that when this happens she will be able to apply to receive a decent place to bring up her child.