She made coffee and dropped off her son with his father at a house down the road. Her mother, 54, saw her off from their patio. She knew what her daughter was doing. It is hard for her to talk about.
“I don’t criticize or condemn,” the mother said.
“There’s no work now,” she added, breaking down. “This is not a life.”
Back in Bogotá, Ms. Abello, the mother who had been evicted twice amid the pandemic, had moved in with a friend, both families crammed together.
Karol, the aspiring nurse, was trying her best to keep up with classes, but she couldn’t log into the school website without the internet, so a friend was downloading the assignments and texting them to her. She then completed them by hand, took pictures and texted them back. But it was hard, and she worried she was falling behind.
Nicol, the younger daughter, turned 15. They had a small celebration, just family, and she wore Karol’s old dress, black, with tulle.
As the quarantine loosened, Ms. Abello finally returned to her job cleaning a bakery. But her housekeeping clients never asked her back, and she was earning about half as much as she did before. It wasn’t clear when they’d be able to move into their own place.
“This has been hard on my mom,” said Karol. “As soon as this is over, I hope she gets new work and we can go back to our old lives.”