Survive in the poorest area of Spain at the time of the coronavirus

Survivre dans le quartier le plus pauvre d’Espagne au temps du coronavirus

Survivre dans le quartier le plus pauvre d’Espagne au temps du coronavirus

During the confinement, Sonia Garcia lost her job and gave birth to her fourth child in the district of Tres Mil Viviendas in Seville, the most poor of Spain.

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July 4, 2020 21h13

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Survive in the poorest area of Spain at the time of the coronavirus

Alvaro Villalobos

Agence France-Presse

SEVILLE — “What I want, this is from here”. During the confinement, Sonia Garcia lost her job and gave birth to her fourth child in the district of Tres Mil Viviendas in Seville, the most poor of Spain.

The impact of the pandemic coronavirus has been devastating in this area located to the south of the andalusian city, even if the contagion by the virus there has remained very limited.

Until march, Sonia was working in a bar to churros, but the containment has had because of his job, ” she says while walking near his building, where the floor is littered with bits of glass, trash and a corpse rat dried by a scorching sun.

Her husband scrap not working not work, the couple has “zero” income and had to resort to aid agencies working in the area to survive -300 euros for the food – as well as to the catholic association Caritas, and his father, 85 years old.

A new setback for this 35 year old woman, who gave birth in may of her fourth child in difficult circumstances – “I had to go alone in an ambulance”, she recalls – and had already lost his job in a restaurant, in 2009, during the previous economic crisis.

Since then, she had accumulated the most precarious jobs – maid, help for the elderly – and now wants to train thanatopraxie, technique of preservation of the body, ” she explains to the AFP, in the local of the association Between Amigos (Between Friends), including the induction program wins every year 100 contracts of work.

At the height of the containment, “it was even thought to go to a supermarket, filling trolleys and running out”, says the young woman. “When you have nothing, that your child asks for a yogurt and you answer: “I don’t have one””.

“Vertical slum”

The Polygon South, which includes the city of Tres Mil Viviendas, and other similar, is home to around 40 000 people, of which the average income is of 5112 euros per year, the lowest in Spain, according to data from 2017.

Unemployment exceeds 50%, aids and illiteracy are reaching endemic levels and a lot of buildings are so unsafe that the authorities speak of “vertical slum”.

The shops are almost non-existent. The people who work are often employed in the black in other areas of Seville, in the hotel, vending or cleaning.

“We serve as labor cheap,” says Rafael Garcia, an official of 58 years.

Added to this is the problem of the cultivation of marijuana in homes dubbed “the apartments of the drug” that people accuse them of causing insecurity and power cuts.

During the confinement, the most urgent challenge was to “enable the people to feed them,” explains Jaime Breton, in charge of coordinating the action of public administrations and of the many associations in the area.

Its structure, who was in charge of 700 minors in school canteens, arrived to distribute food aid to more than 15,000 people.

Online education, “a chimera”

The pandemic has had an impact on health is very limited, but the closure of schools is disastrous in an area where the school failure reaches 60% and absenteeism by 25%.

And the school “online is “a chimera,” says Mr. Breton.

Betsaida Alexander, a Venezuelan 45 years, confirms it: in the school of his children, out of 199 students, 176 neither have a tablet nor a computer to do their homework to distance.

The situation may even become dramatic, because in homes where parents fight or use drugs (…) the school is the only way for children to have a normal life for three or four hours,” says Ms. Alexander, who lives with her husband, three children, his mother, his mother-in-law and his handicapped brother.

This engineer in electronics who has finally found an acting teacher, after years of doing household, said to see around her “extreme poverty” and “people who were more isolated.

Le Soleil

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