Stipulated in 1981 by former dictator Augusto Pinochet, the AFP system - which means Pension Fund Administrators - is, to this day, highly questioned by chilean society for not bringing the advantages once promised to the population.

Workers have to contribute, mandatorily, with 10% of their salaries each month. The money applied is used for private financial investments, but the return in terms of pension is very little - around 30% of worker’s last salary before retiring.

In Chile today, 90% of retired people receive less than 147 mil pesos (US$225). This amount is almost half the minimum wage - which is around US$450.

In 2018, president Sebastián Piñera presented a measure to raise contribution from 10 to 14%.

The equipment room, where all the cleaning products are storaged at the building María Luz works as a concierge.

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For two years now, María Luz, 69, has been dealing with depression caused by knee problems, which affected her autonomy, besides struggling to keep on paying the house bills, where she lives with three kids and a granddaughter.

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Militant of the movement No Más AFP (No more AFP), María has always been advocate against the capitalisation system stipulated in 1981 by dictator Augusto Pinochet.

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María Luz does heike in her food before lunch, next to her son Benjamin and her granddaughter Esperanza.

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María Luz getting ready for work.

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The work of concierge, in Chile, is almost always done by men. “In the beginning, they looked weird at me. Now I do the work better than the others.”

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In the house where she lives, there are other four people. Her kids: Flor Cecília, Benjamín, Luz María and her daughter Esperanza.

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“I hired people to built my house, but it didn’t get pretty, so I want to change a few things”, says María Luz, while she repairs her staircase with pieces of wood she found on the streets.

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A picture of María Luz with her children, more than 20 years ago. Providing for her family, working, taking care of the house and being a militant against the AFP system, there is not much free time for María Luz.

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“There is nothing us women can’t do”, says María to her granddaughter, Esperanza, while they repair, together, the staircases of the house with pieces of wood. “Look, Esperanza, how the house changes with that.”

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María Luz, in the lobby of the building where she works.

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Dealing with depression for two years, María Luz does regular check ups in the doctor’s office at a health center from her neighborhood.

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María still pays for the house where she lives for more than twenty years and which is a part of a “cité”, sort of “village” model of housing, typical from France and common in Santiago.

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