Queen Letizia visits the Colombian neighborhood of Villa Hermosa

By Carlos Pérez Gil |

Cartagena (Colombia) (BLAZETRENDS).- Queen Letizia visited the Villa Hermosa neighborhood, one of the poorest in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, where she witnessed the radical change it has undergone thanks to the implementation of the drinking water and sewerage through a project financed by the Spanish cooperation.

Located in the suburbs of the Caribbean city, reached by a bumpy sandy road, the settlement welcomed the queen, wearing boots and the red vest of Spanish cooperation, and the first lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer in the midst of intense heat.

After getting off the official car, Doña Letizia walked to the neighborhood school, the first stop on her visit, preceded by houses made of wooden planks, where in 2016 the project to provide them with clean water began, which was inaugurated a year ago. .

“Help us to dignify our lives”, reads the sign with a drawing of a faucet from which water comes out that adorns the school patio, where the 450 students have bathrooms separated by sex with toilets and sinks.

“Water changes life”

Borja Serrador, head of the water program of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Aecid), explained to the queen the supply project that, in addition to the school, has reached 1,910 homes, where 6,500 people live in situations of poverty.

“People had never used a toilet in their lives until this project came along. They relieved themselves in a bag and threw the voladores to another part of the neighborhood, which caused conflict in the community and the streets were full of feces,” Serrador told reporters about the modus operandi used to dispose of the waste.

Thanks to clean water, apart from improving coexistence, people have saved the three hours they invested in bringing water in jugs, which “now they dedicate to work and training”, especially women and children, who go more time at school.

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“That for the neighborhood means the future. Water changes life”, remarked Serrador, who also pointed out as advantages the lower cost of having water and the reduction of diseases by having more hygiene.

Queen Letizia tours Villa Hermosa

With the help of Spain and the Cartagena mayor’s office, which have assumed the two million euros for the work, the streets of Villa Hermosa were raised to lay pipes, manholes and pipes to each house, which have been equipped with a sink, sink, shower and toilet, as well as the connection to the sewerage.

The queen had access to two of these houses to see first-hand the improvements made.

At Doris’s, they showed her the bathroom and the sink. “She has improved everything. It has been an illusion for the entire neighborhood”, said the neighbor before the arrival of the delegation.

Heidi also showed them the toilet with a smile as she turned on the tap: “It has changed our lives to the fullest. I couldn’t work full time. Women were the most harmed. It is wonderful”.

Mercedes, who runs a bread and pastry stall, welcomed the fact that the queen had moved “to the real Cartagena, where extreme poverty is,” far from the tourist image of the Caribbean city.

Before leaving, Doña Letizia sat down with a group of women and their young children to chat with them and tell them what the visit had seemed like.

“It has been very impressive,” Doña Letizia confessed to them to summarize her time in Villa Hermosa as notary of the fruits of Spanish cooperation

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