Thursday, January 8, 2009

Overnight, THIS showed up.

Poor people by the thousands, setting camps and shacks, these are poor, the majority unemployed that pick trash for a living.
Do you guys understand that sometimes, even thought I write in English we do not speak the same language?

For the average American, even for someone with an opened mind and who is into survival, a poor person is someone that has a house, some stuff, maybe even buys a big screen TV, the Al Bundy from married with children version of poor. The Simpsons claim to be poor. I know it’s TV, it’s a cartoon, but a poor person for our current 3rd worldly standards is what you see pictured. It’s a person living among trash in a shack my 6 year old could build in a few hours, and maybe an entire family lives there.

They come from all over the city, poor people looking for a place to build a shack or set up a tent. A vacant lot, a politician that magnanimously allows them to take over someone else’s privately owned land in exchange for favors, such as their presence during political demonstrations by our beloved “presidenta”.

Maybe I’m getting old and soft, ( not 30 yet but who knows) but this postcard, watching this thing, this refugee camp in my country, how it came out of nowhere overnight, (I swear, this happened OVERNIGHT), shacks as far as the eye can see, all the way into the horizon. Terrible.
This already happened last year in this same place on the other side of this same road.

The pics where taken a month after they took over the land, so some wood shacks and corrugated metal construction can be seen now.

What happens is that they take over portions of space anyway they can. Most just set an improvised tent using sticks and plastic sheath, other set up a primitive wooden shack, like the ones’ seen.
The ones using tarps try to “upgrade” the structure the following days , adding some wood, plastic, or even cardboard to make walls, if they have any, they use some corrugated metal for a roof.

The place looks just like a refugee camp like the ones seen on CNN in Bosnia or some other war zone. Only dirtier.

At night they set up fires, mostly for light but also to cook, though now most of these shacks have illegal power connections they do themselves at their own risk.

For those that may be visiting BS AS and want to check it out, this is at the end of Gral. Paz highway, once you leave the capital district and go into the southern suburbs, and it turns into “Camino Negro” , the dreaded “dark road” I talk about sometimes. If you go check it yourself please be careful, go with someone that knows the place.

If you feel extra brave you might want to visit, “La Salada” open air market which happens to be near by, which is as close to a post apocalyptic open air market as it gets.
And to think that Spielberg would pay millions for such a scenography…

My parents are visiting because of the holydays, and they took these pictures, something I meant to do myself to show it to you guys but never got around to do it.



Anonymous said...

I take for granted you really have something to do down there at Camino Negro (working for an NGO/charity/ our government???), 'cause I can´t think of many places more dangerous than that. Head your 4x4 for "Barrio Don Orione" or even better "Isla Maciel", and don't forget "Fuerte Apache", the ultimate destination for a wannabe-a-sitting-duck. I watch in amazement crowds settling around Capital District. I don´t understand: EVERYBODY (the poor, the Chinese, Cubans fleeing from the Castros, US expats-why???-, Africans fleeing from, well, Africa in itself) wants to come to live to our Capital city. Is this city some kind of Noah's Ark?...

And it's not a weak metaphor, there´s so many people putting their hopes in the city, whereas there is a HUGE territory beyond the Greater BA. For a start, people who came from the provinces should learn once and for all to deal with their really ugly politicians, fight for better life standards in the long term. BA is overwhelmed with people demanding public health services they're not given where they came from, public transportation is on the brink of collapse, University of Buenos Aires is plagued with people from other provinces (has anybody told them there also are public universities in C√≥rdoba, Misiones, etc.?) and everybody seems to be waiting for problems to solve themselves. You may have seen those pathetic demonstrations causing massive jams downtown, just because there is a "Casa de la Provincia de [you name it]" to throw some eggs to/paint with spraycan.

Easy. Don't get shot.
Signed: Born And Raised in BA.

Anonymous said...

Like your blog! Good preperation for what will come around the world now. By the way, this is already happening in the US..


Anonymous said...

How much longer before you complete your degree and are you still planning to relocate when you do? I'm in Colorado in the US. I'm busy these days - another new kid here, too ;) - but not too busy to do some local legwork if it helps. I've got the same handle on "that other survival board" - feel free to IM me there if needed.

Anonymous said...

There have always been places like these in the US. Anyone who has gone through the ghettos in Detroit, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego has seen "Bordertowns" - and they aint pretty.

I just renewed my CCW. There are places I wouldnt go without my 9mm in Denver.

vdavisson said...

That is just shameful. Not for you, FerFAL, but for your "leaders." Our "leaders" are taking us down the same road - ruinous spending and disastrous expansion of the federal government. Our ghettos are nothing like that - our homeless areas are similar, but they are very small.

Anonymous said...

You'd think a person would at least demand arable land for being a good party shill.

Anonymous said...

FerFal- what do these people do with their 'property' when they go selling/scavenging/work? Or is there usually one of the same groupos remaining behind always?
Yes, these are popping up in the U.S's southern, and warmer, states. During summer they grow in the woods farther north but are much less visible.
The ones I've been able to locate have always been uninhabited, though the noise of the owners crashing through the brush is usually very clear.

john patrick said...

Again, thanks FerFal for posting this article. Much appreciated, bro.

Norcal said...

Hi Ferfal,
How long till you can get out? I think we are all worried about you.

Yes, there are dangerous places in the States, like South Central in Los Angeles.

But overall in so many neighborhoods, people are safe here, esp compared to Argentina.

And yes we have homeless but they live on a mattress in San Francisco and have RIGHTS there.

Thank you for posting these pix and keep safe


Does anyone know of any other sites like ferfals? thank you

DW said...


I'm also in Denver, where'd you get your CCW? I'm looking for a class...

And what neighborhoods would you stay away from? I'm relatively new here and live near 104th and Federal.


Thanks as always for the honest reporting.

Anonymous said...

Okay, NOT looking to hijack FerFAL's blog but, Dan, Google the Boulder Rifle Club and click on NRA classes. The Personal Protection class qualifies you for CCW and is run monthly, towards the end of each month. Feb still has slots open.

Anonymous said...


I am in Colorado Springs. Denver is a nice place to visit, but I wouldnt want to live there - though lately we're seeing crime on the rise.

I've had my CCW for 5 years now. Thats why I renewed it.

Keith has good info for Denver. You will, of course, be fingerprinted, photographed and your background checked by CBI.

Anonymous said...

Unlike my older brother, I have not been to Nicaragua in 20+ years. He visits us once every 2 years - he has dual citizenship. I listen to his problems, but he always goes back.

The point I am trying to make is: Yes, FerFAL would probably be safer in the US, but quit trying to coerce him. Argentina holds a place in his heart. It would be like someone telling you to move to Australia because of the crime rate here.

Do I completely understand? Nope. I just listen to my brother, and support him.

Anonymous said...

When there are that many hungry, desperate people revolution isn't far behind.

Hunger is a seed for revolution.

In the US in the old days shanty towns like this were called Hoovervilles because of President Hoover's bad economic management. These days we call them Bushvilles.

Two ways out of it for a government is to either start public works projects that employ poor people or find a war to start that employs poor people prior to the poor person being killed on the battlefield. The latter is usually the favored choice because then the war profiteers also make out.

Ryan said...

I don't think we get it though your English is just fine. I fear that in a few years we are going to get a lot more of it.

Anonymous said...

A couple of observations:

I first went overseas in 1992 to Jakarta, Indonesia. That's the first time I understood real poverty. Like your pictures the poor lived squatting on vacant lots making shelters out of whatever they could find. They were destitute, obviously malnourished, many times afflicted or missing limbs.

I remember when I returned to the States, I was sitting in LAX waiting for my connecting flight when a man comes up to me panhandling. Now this panhandler did not look like he had been missing any meals, certainly not like the gaunt skeletons that sat by the side of the road in Jakarta. I refused him.

Later I worked in Russia. My Russian interpretors used to laugh when they heard talk on the news about the american poor. Their favorite chastisement to me was, "America, the land with the richest poor people in the world."

You are right, few in the States have seen the truly destitute, famished and afflicted.

Christopher Newgent said...

Ferfal, Just wondering, where did your adsense go? I thought that it was great that you would make a little extra coin while helping the rest of us to see what is going on.

Happy Holidays, I hope that 2009 is a good year for your family as well as Argentina.


FerFAL said...

Born And Raised in BA,
Yes, I live in the southern "conurbano", so I need to go through there.
About people wanting to move here to BS AS, it onyl shows that there are worse places. Bolivia, Africa, Paraguay and Cuba for sure.

I'm glad to see another Argentine intersted in survival and preps, where are you from? :)

KeithC, it depends on what happens in March.
The university of Bs As is ( no surprise) goign throuhg a seirous crisis, so classes are interrupted, summer classes dissapear, its a big miss. I was counting on one of these summer classes but its not goign to happen. Canceled due to lack of funds.

KeithC, thanks a lot for the help offer.