Con-in(equality)

Today we took our visit to Conin, a center for struggling mothers to take their kids 3 times a week for academic stimulation, nutritious food, and all around general support. The center also works to educate the mothers, many of whom are very young, with basic child care skills and trying to establish a good connection between mother and child beyond seeing them as a package. We were greeted at the door by overzealous young kids; one boy went around giving “gifts”, little clovers and such, to all of the girls, presenting them with a large smile. We split up into groups, and after a good 15 minutes of making animal sounds with stuffed animals with some of my new, younger friends, I opted to join a group taking a walk around the neighborhood. What I saw totally transformed my appreciation of the center, as it was something that I was not expecting. The surrounding area of Conin showed a much level higher of poverty than I was expecting based on all that the center had been able to accomplish. We met our fair share of feral dogs along the way, they typically just roam around as though they own the place. Each house is built differently, many are in poor condition, small, and built cheaply. It was not quite yet the level of slums, but it was definitely a poorer area than we saw even in Pilar. The one thing is that the sense of community was vibrant. People were outside and walking around, music played from homes, and our group got called over to talk several times. The most surprising part of this little community was its proximity to the wealthy area of Tigre and its much larger and more modern homes. How is it possible that such inequality is so well divided and how has it been so well sustained? My best guess comes down to basic education. While everyone in the country has access to free education, all of the young mothers there in Conin that will have to sacrifice education in order to devote time to their children are abandoning their potential ticket to the next class of society. The level of inequality cannot be healthy for the population, as classes begin to grow apart it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals to mobilize and advance themselves in society. Barriers begin to form and discrimination can become commonplace. Globalization has contributed to this increasing divide, as a lot of the effects of it are concentrated in the upper echelon of society. These citizens are not reaping the effects of tourism, nor are they having the opportunity to study abroad in another country. They are simply continuing in their self sufficient community as the rest of society grows into a new global network. While globalization can bring in new forms of aid and support, it is nothing compared to the divide it can cause.

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