Work started on Thursday at Campo de la Ribera. I'll tell you the longer history of the place once it's explained to me too but for now I'll tell you that it used to be a military prison. Then during the dictatorship it was a political prison and a "concentration camp". Many people who entered never got out alive. About 200m away is a cemetery where a mass grave was found last year.
Today Ribera is a Center for the Memory, a place organizing activities that are somehow vinculated with reminding people of the country's terrible past. There are games, toys, after-school activities, handicrafts classes, sewing classes etc etc. The only problem is that Ribera is closed at the moment. Two reasons. 1. The building is dangerous. The main issues are the electricity cables and a roof that leaks a lot. 2. There is no water at the moment. The school next door is also out of water but nobody seems to know why. Being in Argentina, the workers aren't too confident that it will be fixed anytime soon.
So, why don't we fix the cables and the roof? The project gets its funding from the government, except for last year there was some hassle and no money was received at all. The director sighed when explaining this to me. Maybe we'll have money, maybe not.
What increases the hassle is that local elections were held a few months ago. The ruling political party changed, so what is happening now is that most public officials are being fired and replaced by new people belonging to the "right" party. This of course pauses basically everything, including the flow of funds. Even 15 of the neighborhood's 19 grass cutters were fired and now they will be replaced too.
I was told this is probably the worst time for me to arrive but with 15 employees and an important mission I hope Ribera will prosper some day. My role is still a complete mystery. Let's see where we are in 3 months.