CHILE: LIFE IN THE SQUARE AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

COMMENTARY ARCHIVES, 9 Mar 2010

Pía Figueroa - Pressenza

Interesting relationships are developing among the residents of different Chilean cities and neighbourhoods only days after the earthquake that left many families unable to return to their homes. Squares have been turned into camping sites where people can cook together, take a bath and lead a community life that did not exist before.

A new solidarity, a way of sharing and living in the temporariness is evident after the walls of many houses fell like sheets of paper and before residents can return to their homes. Many families are organising themselves with or without help from the authorities.

It seems to have prolonged the holiday season, with camps and barbecues to cook in the open air, with children coming and going helping bring water, finding out what is happening in the other blocks. There is a huge task of national reconstruction ahead; however what first seems to be established among Chileans is a humane treatment between residents, closeness, communication, human parity and affection.

Translation: Rhona Desmond


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