Below the Surface: A Community in the Slums
From above, you'd never guess what a community looks like in the slums. This well-established area is bursting with rows of 10′ by 10′ houses -- most of which have a second floor. Blue tarps are held down with bricks to help protect from the heavy rains. The streets are small but full of vibrant signs of an active community. Take a tour of the unexpected parts of this slum neighborhood.
This shows one of the few larger streets in the neighborhood. Small houses leave little room for storage and workspace, so neighbors hang their clothes outside and store their water in jugs, which is only available a few hours each day. While crowded, the community is very peaceful, with those who live here going about their own business.
Nothing brings a community together like a festival. Neighbors or political parties decorate with flags and lanterns help to celebrate the occasion. Also pictured here is a little convenience stand that provides essentials like soap, grains, toothpaste, and others that someone might need at the last minute. The kids don't have a playground or other places to play, so they're here playing in the street.
Everyone needs a spot to read and keep up with the news. These shelters are stocked with different daily newspapers and benches to provide a quiet place to read. These spots are a great community service for those in the neighborhood, and the spaces are well respected and quiet.
Festivals are a great way to bring people together. By day, vendors sell their fruits and vegetables to their regular customers. It is convenient to know that the onions and potato, coconut or vegetable cart will come to a particular place at a certain time so you can buy fresh produce. The vendors get to know their customers well, and it creates a great sense of community. By night, performers take center stage to celebrate each festival, sometimes for a week at a time!