Honorata Huamán Ramos

Full name: Honorata Huamán Ramos

Date of birth: October 28th1954

Age: 59

Place of birth: Puquio, Lucanas, Ayacucho

Occupation: community leader, cook, entrepreneur, mother, wife, grandmother…

“When I was 7 I left my home for Para, Sangos with a teacher named Vilma. At that age I started working for an older woman. I came back home one year later and after one year I left for Lima, to work in the Vendezu family house, in Caquetá. There, I took care of the baby and I started doing more such as cleaning the house…

Because they mistreated me, they used to hit me; I escaped and reached the house of Mrs. Luisa Lengua. There I received the best treatment of my life, working as the baby-sitter of the girls until 12pm and during the afternoon she made me study. I stayed there for 8 years.

Then I came back to see my mother and without falling in love I had my first child. I started a family and had 3 children and when we split up I left Puquio in 1981 this is how I came to Villa El Salvador. There, I built a house with rush matting, and thanks to much effort I managed to finish it little by little. My goal was to put a roof on it.

Then, I left for the mountains with the enterprise of Alfredo Gomez as cook. I worked there for many years; this is where I met my husband. I could get everything I needed to finish my home.

In 1993, I came to the city of Gocen in Villa Maria del Triunfo and we built another house with rush matting. There, with all the community we organized everything to respect the human settlement, to not damage it. My first work with Atocongo Association from 2005 to 2006 was the small wall of the medical post in the La Paz Street.

In 2005, I was accused of terrorism (without neither reason nor grounds) for defending my neighborhood. That same year we built the 6 staircases located in the hill, known as passage Cristo Salvador, passage Gocen, passage San Juan, and passage San Martin, San Gabriel y Santa Maria.

In 2006, we made the Sports Center. I started fighting about the reversal of two green areas, at the same time. There were people who wanted to damage those areas.

Then in 2007, we built the retaining walls Los Pinos and Los Preciados. That same year they wanted to send me to Santa Monica, blaming me for the reversal of the two areas,  Z and Z1. On this occasion the family who occupied the land had initiated the complaint and since the green areas were intangible, they wanted to lock me up.

In the middle of all this, I never thought I would be offered the position of General Secretary of the human settlement organization. I feel proud to have occupied this position and what we managed to do have been possible thanks to the support of important people such as Alan Garcia, Lucho Castañeda and their people… They always asked for me, the leader of Gocen.

I could not stand abuses. For example, the private firm paid the managers of the construction for the installation of the meters and tubes and they worked earning what they wanted. We worked together against frauds from the managers and for the justification of the price of water.

We went to the local government to defend our caseand we presented a request from 150 families. We walked with the mayor to the Ministry of Accommodation and the Minister Garrido Lecca received us along with Mr. Alex Aliaga, Dr. Carlos Arana, Marcia Montero Zegarra and Dr. Hidalgo among others. After many obstacles we reached the Superintendence of National Goods and everything got solved. It was like a miracle, there, they told me that our case was the first to be solved in history…and I still wonder why.

The press also supported us, especially people from Frecuencia Latina (Mónica Delta y Augusto Thorndike). Thanks to them we got many jobs, despite the fact that the population did not acknowledge it; this way we had access to several national resources, cofopri etc.

In 2008, we built 14 staircases more. Between 2004 and 2013 we built retaining walls, the medical post, the sports center and we studied the types of routes (to organize them and make them effective).

In 2009, we started the construction of the medical post. I used to sleep there during 6 months to watch out for robbery of the construction material and to supervise the construction. We inaugurated it in 2010 and now it takes care of people from 8 human settlements in Villa Maria del Triunfo. Alan Garcia said that this medical post was emblematic.

On March 8th2010, the Town Council of Lima awarded me with the MINERVA prize as best leader.

In 2011, I applied to PAN-SOY in order to create my own business. The Rotary Club was my associate and I still distribute my helpings to the children from the PRONOEI and to the elderly of Gocen. Last year, the building of PRONOEI caught fire and I was very angry because these children did not deserve to lose their school. We gathered around in the neighborhood and cleaned and painted the brick walls and what was left standing. We sought support to refurbish the local with tables and chairs. When I come to leave the lunchboxes the kids greet me happily by saying “Good morning neighbor Honorata, the lunchbox has come!” and that makes me very happy. I always try new natural combinations with fresh vegetables from our organic garden such as causa, veggie soya tortilla, pumpkin mazamorra, stuffed potato, and rice and soya pudding. I intend to make them delicious so the kids will be happy.

I also receivedan award from the Ministry of Agriculture but I will tell you on another occasion…”

While she tells us her story, Honorata never stops smiling. The people whoknow her, know what hides behind these tears falling while relating her story and it is hard for us not to mention this personal part which she keeps for herself. But we know it is that very part that pushed her from childhood to fight until the end, to move forward for her children, to make her relatives happy so she can be happy as well.