Settlers-versus-habitat tension is not always rural


Shortly before Pope Francis became the first world church leader to visit her Paraguay River neighborhood at the edge of Asunción, Elsa Fariña had been packing recyclable plastic bottles into sacks outside what was left of her home. Much of her brick house collapsed last year when the river overflowed its banks and flooded more of her neighborhood, Bañado Norte, than is usual in the seasonal water-level fluctuation. Unable to afford to rebuild, Fariña, 68, who makes about a dollar a day collecting and selling plastic bottles for recycling, pieced together a plywood room. She worries, however, that if the city evicts her and other residents to make way for urban development, she won’t qualify for a buyout. “People say they won’t pay me... [Log in to read more]

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