Medellin has had a renaissance in the past few years. Coming out of a history of being one of the most notorious narcotics cities in the world with one of the highest murder rates, Medellin has turned itself around as a result of new politicians who trusted the local people to want something better for themselves. New public works, art museums, mass transit systems, and city cleanup efforts have transformed Medellin into a safe and beautiful city. One of the efforts to bring the community together was the development of an escalator system to transport people from the hillside “favela” lower income areas of the city to access to the central city mass transit system. This allowed these workers access to jobs in other parts of the city.
We wanted to see the escalators and see for ourselves the struggles the people of the “favela” have in achieving success. As we climbed the hillside with our driver, we realized this was an area in the city we would have only gone during the day. It was troubling for an American of upper middle class heritage to experience how many populations of the world exist in slum-like conditions. We were thankful and hoped that current politicians in Medellin would continue developing success vehicles for the people.
Bottom of the hill where the escalator begins and travels a long way up the hillside.
Wide shot of the “favela” area.
Escalator climbing the hillside. (Photo stolen from the web)
Community graffiti everywhere.