escuela sin gas

On my bus route home yesterday, it was all about the petrol stations. Not my usual focus (usually I peer into ice-cream parlours or watch kids playing in the street on a lazy Saturday afternoon) but I was doing research. Actually, by the time I'd decided to do a non-scientific survey of the petrol stations along bus route 44, we were half-way home. But we passed three - the first had a sign saying 'No oil or gas'; the second was out of diesel; and the third had tape wrapped round its petrol pumps.

But it was when I got off the bus that something really caught my eye. As I walked the few blocks home, the local school had a new banner hanging over the gate. 'This school,' it said, 'doesn't have any gas.'

It's been a warm weekend so the lack of heating in college hasn't bothered me. But winter is on its way and the shortage of oil is going to be a problem.

Argentina has to buy in oil from neighbouring countries like Brazil and Bolivia. Last year rising prices and rising demand led to the government rationing oil supplies to certain companies. Unofficially, it also seemed that there was some rationing of oil to homes. That, or just another excuse from college for why the radiators weren't turned on.

In all this it will be the poor, elderly and vulnerable who are most affected. I wonder who made the sign outside the school, and what they hope to achieve. The banner makes visible the current economic crisis and how it directly impacts on people's lives. It makes me look beyond the school gate and into the unheated classrooms. My part of Flores isn't a poor area, so if schools here are struggling, those in the villas and poor barrios are facing an even tougher winter.


Rachel said…
And today it's even hotter, and college have turned the heating on!!
Rachel said…
I read in today's Clarin that the government has begun to ration oil to industries and factories once again.