Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Escalator to Heaven: Colombian Shanty Town Gets $7 Million Escalator System

Residents of a shanty town built atop a large group of hills in Medillin, Colombia, now have their own stairway to heaven after a $7 million series of low-tech escalators were constructed to help residents get to and from their homes.

For generations, residents of Medillin's drug and violence infested Comuna 13 barrio have had to climb up and down the neighborhood's steep and serpentine series of hills to get to where they needed to go. Climbing to the top of the hill is the equivalent to climbing up a twenty-eight floor skyscraper! In an effort to make life easier for the long-suffering residents, the local government invested the large sum of money in one of the poorest parts of the city in an effort to revitalize the area.

The escalator measures 1260 feet in length and is divided into six convenient sections so people living on all parts of the hillside will have easy access to it. The project has been extremely popular with the locals, in particular the elderly and those with physical limitations. 

The city's mayor said that governmental officials from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, would be visiting the site of the escalator to see if a similar project would work for Rio's sprawling favelas (slums) where a majority of the city's population resides.

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