Miguel Salvatierra I Sevilla, (EFE) those who highlight the prejudices due to their origin, the lack of economic resources and the abandonment of the administrations.
The first neighborhood on the painful list of poverty is Polígono Sur, where the Tres Mil Viviendas are located, which has an average income per inhabitant of 5,666 euros per year, according to data from the latest Urban Indicators report published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) in May 2022.
Next on the list is Los Pajaritos, with an average income of 6,042 euros which, together with the Torreblanca neighborhood, on the outskirts of Seville, and with an income of 6,801 euros per year, make up three of the four poorest neighborhoods in the entire Spain.
Among the prevailing criminality in these areas, affected by drug trafficking, the young people who have grown up there have been forced to wage an arduous battle to avoid the temptation of falling for easy money and choose to travel the longest path towards emancipation and progress in their lives.
Iván Muñoz, “Papi Paler”, is one of those young people who has made resilience a lifestyle in Los Pajaritos, a “jungle” that, he has confessed to EFE, is “consuming” him, although he has not ceased in his effort to achieve improvements in the neighborhood’s infrastructure through continuous unanswered messages to the Seville City Council from his Instagram account, verified and with nearly 10,000 followers.
Neighborhoods that consume people
“I’m trying to get my passport to leave here, the neighborhood has consumed me,” said a young man who lives “practically from day to day” with the little money that music gives him, sporadic jobs as a hairdresser and through paintings that he manages to sell. .
These young people denounce the distance of the Administrations and political leaders from the reality that families in the poorest neighborhoods of Spain live.
“For the politician who lives for a month in a 30-square-meter flat, supporting his family with 400 euros, I vote for him for life,” Iván said.
Abstention in the elections, which reached 90% in the Martínez Montañés neighborhood, known as Las Vegas, in the Tres Mil Viviendas in the last Andalusian elections, is another indicator of the weariness and discomfort suffered by young people in these neighborhoods .
One of the factors that usually condemns young people who grow up in poor neighborhoods is the cycle of poverty that takes root in these areas, with families that add up to generations immersed in economic difficulties that, in the case of Los Pajaritos, have their origin in the catastrophe caused by the overflow of the Tamarguillo River in the 1960s, which brought to light the level of degradation in which hundreds of families lived.
break the cycle of poverty
These young people face the tough task of breaking this vicious circle from which it is sometimes impossible to get out, and giving themselves and their families a chance to achieve a more prosperous future.
The Alalá Foundation, a non-profit entity that seeks to help young people from Polígono Sur through scholarships that allow them to finance studies that they would not be able to access in a normal situation, is one of those actors who fight to break this dynamic of poverty.
Mercedes Cornejo and Alba Fernández are two of the Alalá scholarship holders who have grown up in the Polígono Sur and are doing their undergraduate studies at the Loyola Andalucía University.
Mercedes studies journalism thanks to this scholarship and, although she no longer lives in Polígono Sur, she continues to visit the neighborhood a lot, where part of her family still lives, and also works as a teacher at IES Polígono Sur.
In statements to EFE, the journalism student has indicated that she really likes to go to the neighborhood and chat “with her lifelong neighbors”, with whom she still maintains a close relationship.
For her part, Alba is finishing her double degree in psychology and criminology and wants to dedicate herself to helping the group of people with drug addiction, something in which her neighborhood, severely hit by drugs, has influenced “without a doubt.”
“In my neighbourhood, drugs are very present, and I have been able to experience first-hand what people with drug addiction suffer”, he highlighted, something that, instead of causing him “prejudice”, has given him a “special sensitivity” to help this group.
leave or stay
Leaving this type of neighborhood is another of the dilemmas that young people face, sometimes looking for a more prosperous future in other areas of the city to escape the long shadow of drugs or the prejudices that exist in the rest. of the population and that comes to harm them when it comes to finding employment.
It is common for these young people to receive discriminatory treatment for saying that they live in these areas that the majority of Sevillians describe as “dangerous” or “conflictive” and that ends up affecting them both in their studies and in their jobs.
“People from Polígono Sur do not put in the curriculum that we are from there”, Mercedes has affirmed something that, although it is “sad”, forces them to seek a future far from the streets that saw them grow, but she has confessed that this situation ” it is changing” and there are not so many companies that put up difficulties to hire young people from these neighborhoods, but “there is still a lot to improve”.
A reality that of youth in some neighborhoods that have improved little in the last five years and that is reflected in the very slight increase, of around 700 euros on average, in the average annual income per inhabitant, and that is still quite far from that of the whole city of Seville, which reaches 12,404 euros.
What these young people ask for their neighborhoods is “equity” and that the problems of these areas be addressed by the administrations like those of any other area of the city. EFE