Thursday, September 17, 2009

Suburb Slums

I visited a liceo (high school) in the suburbs of Montevideo today. The suburbs in Uruguay do not mean the same thing as they do in the United States.

The suburbs are not full of middle class families with 2.5 kids, neatly mowed lawns, and a minivan in the driveway. The suburbs in Uruguay are where the poorest of the poor live. I didn't have my camera with me, but I did capture a few quick shots with my phone. I wish I could show you more.

The poverty is shocking--appalling even. I could never imagine living in such conditions. When people say that Uruguay is a third world country I generally think tisk, tisk, you don't know what you are talking about, Montevideo is relatively wealthy. Most people make enough money to live comfortably. But not in the suburbs. Not in the slums of the city.

When I see such utter poverty, I can't conscientiously go on living the way I am. I cannot not do anything. It's reprehensible that there are children living in such conditions. What can I do? What can you do? What can we do?

Because something needs to be done!


  1. Ahhhh...that is incredibly heart-breaking. this is definitely not a side of uruguay I saw. How was the high school? what was it like? the students? What did you do while you were there?

  2. The high school was great. It is actually the only private/public school in the city aimed at developing poor regions. The students were really sweet, but of course they come from really poor backgrounds. I was visiting the school because I am going to be teaching them at a camp they get to go to this week. I'll blog more about it later.

  3. Hey Jennifer,

    You left a comment on my Montevideo blog a while ago and I just took a quick look at your blog now...I'm very impressed.

    You take in interesting, unbiased view of Uruguay and it is enjoyable and informative to watch your growth and learning process throughout your time here.

    Keep up the good work, its amazing how little info there is out there about Uruguay.