Monday, May 27, 2013

Indalla Is Located in Cuba

Indalla Is Located in Cuba
May 27, 2013
Isbel Díaz Torres

indallaHAVANA TIMES — Indalla is a shantytown located in the heart of
the Cuban capital, whose existence even the president of the
municipality where it is situated was unaware of.

At the boundary between Havana's west-laying municipalities of Marianao
and La Lisa, this marginal neighborhood was discovered a few months ago
by the mayor of its own local government, while sanitation units were
conducting a health inspection in the area.

The outbreak of cholera in Marianao last year put sanitation authorities
on alert for several weeks, and some of the inspections conducted
reached Indalla, which had been contaminated by the foul outpours of the
Quibu river and where three cases of cholera were registered.

puenteThe poor families who live in this neighborhood had never before
had the "privilege" of being visited by the mayor, not at the illegal
settlement of numberless houses where they continue to eke out an existence.

Several of the houses in this slum are located directly beneath
high-tension electrical cables, something that is both illegal and
extremely dangerous, to the point of putting the lives of its residents
at risk, but, apparently, the local government turns a blind eye on
this, having no real alternative to offer these people.

The neighborhood was informally established at the end of the 80s and
beginning of the 90s, when there were plans of constructing a laboratory
for the Jose Antonio Echevarria Higher Polytechnic Institute (CUJAE) in
the area.

enfermeraLarge quantities of materials were taken to the site, but
construction was halted with the onslaught of the Special Period
economic crisis. Despite the frustrated plans, many people stayed and
settled there, employed at CUJAE's cafeteria.

Others, according to a resident, grew marihuana and sold it at the
moderate price of 5 Cuban pesos per beer-bottle cap of the herb.

Today, the walls of the neighborhood show symbols of the Abakua
religión. Though attempts to found a congregation there were made, the
initiative was turned down by other, neighboring religious organizations.

I can only hope the government will pay these places more frequent
visits, not to evict its inhabitants (as was recently done in Guanabo),
but to help these Cuban families who live under very difficult conditions.

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