Villa Miseria (Slum or Shanty Town) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Stock Footage)

Villa Miseria (Slum or Shanty Town) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Stock Footage)

A villa miseria or just villa, is a type of shanty town or slum found in Argentina, mostly around the largest urban settlements. The term is a noun phrase made up of the Spanish words villa (village, small town) and miseria (misery, dejection), and was adopted from Bernardo Verbitsky’s 1957 novel Villa Miseria también es America (“Villa Miseria is also [a part of] the Americas”). These settlements consist of small houses or shacks made of tin, wood and other scrap material. Generally, the streets are not paved and narrow internal passages connect the different parts. The villas miseria have no sanitation system, though there may be water pipes passing through the settlement. Electric power is sometimes taken directly from the grid using illegal connections, which are perforce accepted by suppliers. The villas range from small groups of precarious houses to larger, more organized communities with thousands of residents. These shantytowns are euphemistically called asentamientos (“settlements”) or villas de emergencia (“emergency villages”). In most parts of Argentina, the non-modified word villa usually refers to a villa miseria. Full HD.

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