To emigrate to the United States and fulfill her hopes for a better life, Ana Iraida sold almost all of her belongings, including the apartment that, until her departure, saved her from the uncertainty of living in rented housing in Cuba, a country with an unresolved housing crisis.
Gladys swore she would not cry in front of her small children, but she still had to wipe away a couple of tears when she turned her head and looked, perhaps for the last time, at her dream house on Margarita Island in Venezuela, from where she migrated, driven by a lack of income and by fear.
Adopting a “healthy housing” approach is improving the living conditions of rural Peruvian women like Martina Santa Cruz, a 34-year-old farmer who lives with her husband and two children in the village of Sacllo, 2,959 meters above sea level in the Andes highlands municipality of Calca.
Camps made up of thousands of tents and shacks have mushroomed in Chile due to the failure of housing policies and official subsidies for the sector, aggravated by the rise in poverty, the covid-19 pandemic and the massive influx of immigrants.
The Brazilian megalopolis of São Paulo recorded 932 flooded premises on Feb. 10, 2020. The Mexican city of Tula de Allende was under water for 48 hours in September 2021. In Lima it almost never rains, but the rivers in the Peruvian capital overflowed in 2017 and left several outlying municipalities covered with mud.
Small farmer Francisco Martínez pushed his son’s wheelchair to another part of the courtyard of their house, located in a small coastal community in El Salvador, before saying sadly: "It would be a great injustice if they kicked us out of here."
Ndaba Dube, a Bulawayo resident, says he built himself a home on a small piece of land after the authorities kept him on the housing waiting list for more than two decades. The land he chose is in an old township established before Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
Thirty families from a rural community more than 4,300 meters above sea level will have warm houses that will protect them from the freezing temperatures that each year cause deaths and diseases among children and older adults in this region of the southeastern Peruvian Andes.
"We are the people who are excluded from the system," says Rafael Rivero, sitting in his apartment in a new social housing complex next to one of the largest slums in Buenos Aires. The contrast sums up the complexity of the social reality in the Argentine capital.
"Here we empower women and we do not tolerate domestic violence, which we treat as our own, not as an intra-family, issue," says Lurdinha Lopes, a leader of the squatting movement in Brazil.
Clearings with fallen trees in the surrounding forests, houses still covered with tarpaulins and workers repairing the damage on the steep La Farola highway are lingering evidence of the impact of Hurricane Matthew four months ago, in the first city built by the Spanish conquistadors in Cuba.
A significant global demographic change having far-reaching consequences yet receiving scant attention is the rise of one-person households.
Now that the wind no longer blows her roof off and her house belongs to her, Cristina López feels safe in the shantytown where she lives on the outskirts of the Argentine capital. But she and her neighbours still need to win respect for many more rights they have been denied.
For the inhabitants of “Bajo Autopista” (Under the Freeway), a slum built under an expressway in the Argentine capital, “they” are the people who live in areas with everything that is denied to “us” – a simple definition of social inclusion and a metaphor for urban inequality.
Néstor Colman, 69, remembers the river overflowing its banks nine times in Bañado Sur, the poor neighourhood in the Paraguayan capital where he was born and has lived all his life. “A record,” he jokes.
Children have been poisoned by lead in Villa Inflamable, a shantytown on the south side of the capital of Argentina. Resettling their families involves a socioenvironmental process as complex as the sanitation works in one of the most polluted river basins in the world.
Slums are a curse and blessing in fast urbanising Africa. They have challenged Africa's progress towards better living and working spaces but they also provide shelter for the swelling populations seeking a life in cities.
Human rights groups are calling for a sustainable solution to the migrant crisis in Europe, especially following the dismantling of refugee camps in Paris and Calais, France, over the past two weeks.
Africa is known as the ‘paradox of plenty’. How can a continent so rich in natural resources be so poor?
The Nobel Peace Prize is about to bow out to critics. As of Jan. 1, the Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Committee that selects the winners has a new secretary, Olav Njølstad, who announced that “changes loom” in a recent interview
Extensive damage to Gaza’s environment as a result of the Israeli blockade and its devastating military campaign against the coastal territory during last year’s war from July to August, is negatively affecting the health of Gazans, especially their food security.