Matilde, like her Cusco grandmother. She asks to be called Mati. She listens attentively and smiles. She laughs when she says that she is almost 100 years old, but she also accepts that 80 today is like 50 before. And that’s how she feels about her: young, curious, lucid to the point of admiration. Plural. “We have all been born into this world and have the right to belong to it”, she comments when we imagine that we might, someday not too far off, have a Chinese Pope. Sensitive, loving with Peru and full of hope. Mati trusts that we will heal to grow civilized.
He was born in Valdivia, Chile. He came to live in Peru when he was seven years old. He studied at the Colegio San Jorge, in Lima. He had a son, who gave him three grandchildren and, up to now, two great-grandchildren. With a Catalan mother and a Chilean father, her marriage to an Argentine lasted 54 years. “Marcos was an exceptional man, I loved him very much, he loved me very much and he respected me very much. He taught me to respect myself. He helped me with his love and his care, but he died seven years ago and I’m still a little heartbroken, struggling”, he says sweetly. She owns a happy and very golden life, as she describes it, Matilde was an only child. When her son was 5 years old, she began studying Clinical Psychology at Saint Markwhere she went in her Volkswagen, and in 1978, with her already married son, she was the first woman to enter and graduate from the Institute of Psychoanalysis From Peru. She insists that she is very lucky and that she is absolutely grateful, although she feels that life is very difficult, even for those of us who have so many privileges.
experience with tenderness
Broadly and politically, what is happening in Peru?
What happens in our country makes us think, sometimes, that Marx was right about some things and I think the class struggle, as a concept, is valid. In other countries too, of course, but here we see it more clearly.
What is happening to the people?
Reality is violent and tragic by definition. We live in a very complicated continent. Look at how Chile is with Boric, who first won and then 70% of the population has denied him their support. Sight Argentina, Brazil with Lula again, Petro, etc. It is a difficult time for everyone and what is happening is related to the pandemic.
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Has the pandemic taught us nothing?
I believe a lot in the concept of civilization, which is a concatenation of facts from the caves to today. But it is also true that the people with the least resources in the world are the ones who have died the most, although there has been everything. Perhaps one should think that life is very difficult, that you suffer a lot and that you suffer more than you enjoy and, if you don’t have the conditions, not to be a millionaire but minimally, it is difficult for you to become civilized.
Aren’t we even more compassionate?
Nothing and that’s what terrifies me. I’m about to die and things are worse, here and in the world. Look what has happened after a global, planetary pandemic! Putin wages a war, which means that we are all sick, not only from COVID, but psychologically, and we have not yet been cured of it.
To this we must add the political crisis; We don’t believe in any authority.
We are an anomic country, as Hugo Neira says. But if you go to Europe, you have the war with Ukraine. And in the whole world everything is very crazy and hopeless because the pandemic has been terrifying, because there was nothing to save us. But we are going to heal.
How not to lose hope?
It can not. We have to believe! But it is true that, being this a continent that calls itself Christian, it does not apply its own religious laws of loving your neighbor as yourself. And the bourgeoisies too, leave much to be desired. Think of those who are perversely seduced by money, being millionaires… what more do they want, more millions? There is great selfishness, but hope has to do with the spirit. In the year 70 I founded an NGO that still exists, for mothers, children and adolescents without resources: Cedapp. I am still an adviser with important projects, but we started at a school in Balconcillo with psychology interns, due to the social concern we had. I have always believed that you have to have two jobs: one yours and one to help. We’ve been doing it that way since the 70s.
Would the spiritual force us to heal as individuals and then do it in community?
This is not utopian; We have to think of a better world, where there is more justice for everyone, starting with elementary things: education, hospitals, sports, things that make us better. Cultivate the good things in humans: rigor, hope, intelligence, study, complying with good standards. Actually, theoretically it is wonderful. This is a post-pandemic crisis from which we are going to heal.