Wednesday, July 11, 2007

About Agua Blanca

Agua Blanca is often described as Cali's biggest slum. It is home to some 600,000 people, many of whom have been displaced from their rural homes by the violence between Marxist rebels and right wing paramilitary forces and other factors such as natural disasters. Left without alternatives they created their own neighborhoods by building makeshift shacks illegally without land titles. There was an awful period a few years ago where the government battled to forcibly dislodge the residents. Finally, the government began to provide basic services to these people and built schools and hospitals. More than 60% of the population of Agua Blanca live in poverty and earn less than US$ 2 per day. Here are a couple links:

Above photo taken by student Yicel Valencia.

1 comment:

Chris James said...

I visited Agua Blanca in 1987. We took 2 grade 6 classes from an independent school 'Colegio Colombo Britanica' to visit a school in a poor barrio. This was a confronting experience for many of the students that came from a privileged background. The students became actively involved in raising money for the school.
This has inspired me to write a musical designed for schools, focusing on the culture, music, dancing, and many challenges that confront those who live in Agua Blanca.
I am interested in finding out how life has changed in the last 20 or so years and also agencies that are currently involved in helping to improve the living conditions for people in Agua Blanca.
Chris James