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Casas de carton in Cabo

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Cabo’s chronic housing shortage highlighted after Tropical Storm Lidia washes away over 7000 homes…

Official figures are now starting to trickle out. Giving a much truer picture of the devastation that many local people in Cabo are now suffering.

A staggering 7000 homes were washed away. That’s a lot. By any standards. Cabo San Lucas lost 4500  - mainly in the neighbourhoods of  El Caribe, and Tierra y Libertad. San Jose del Cabo lost 2500. 

Of course, these homes were in the high-risk areas – the “irregular settlements” in the arroyos. Because people are poor. And there is nowhere else for them to go. Their houses were made of wood and cardboard. Yes, wood and cardboard. 

And one step up from the wood and cardboard houses, were the apartment buildings that were actually constructed in the arroyos. Two such buildings collapsed  - one in Chula Vista, and the other in Puerto Nuevo. The pictures have been all over the news.

And whilst the state government has pledged to offer legal support to those families affected, a legal wrangle is expected over who is actually responsible. 

Fingers crossed that State Governor Carlos Mendoza will be true to his word and “design the mechanism that allows the construction of housing in safe and affordable areas for workers”.

And therein lies the irony.  On the one hand, there is an abundance of luxury real estate in Cabo. And on the other, a chronic shortage of affordable, safe housing for normal citizens. Something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s 2017. Nobody should be living in “casas de carton”.

Marco Antonio Solis sang “Casas de Carton” (Cardboard Houses) way back in 1974-75...

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