Thursday, January 8, 2009
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.