About “Villa Miseria” Misery Slums in Buenos Aires
“Villa Miseria” (Misery Slums) are the slum communities that make up Buenos Aires’s interior urban districts and surrounding settlements. A misery slum is defined as highly crowded concentrations in which there are no roads, just passages. They grow vertically and are extremely difficult to urbanize. Over half a million families live in 864 slums in metropolitan Buenos Aires. Only 57% of people in these slums have access to a high school within a ten-block radius of their home, while only 7% of slum inhabitants have access to a hospital within a ten-block radius. Dire poverty and abhorrent general health are obvious epidemics in a “Villa Miseria”; however, social problems like gang violence, sexual abuse, and drug addiction are exacerbating the poverty-trap and presenting in young children and teens. Providing these families with secure homes in new settlement neighborhoods (roads, plumbing, and more stable property rights) helps break the cycle and provide the opportunity to become a positive social, political, and economic contributor. Recreation opportunities and accessibility to equipment will specifically help these children have a more stimulating and healthy childhood.