Saturday, December 5, 2009

it's hard to be a saint in the city

How do you survive when you're forced to migrate to the city? Join the informal economy.

Reuters reports on Grimaldo Hernandez, who fled death squads in rural Colombia and brought his family to Cartagena. There, he earns $200 a month by selling tinto (the local name for coffee) on the streets of El Pozon, one of Cartagena's shantytowns. His wife, too, has taken to the street and sells ices around El Pozon.

All told, one half of the workers in the world work in the informal economy. For most, like for Grimaldo Hernandez, this is not a crime. It is, instead, the way to survive and find a firm future for their families.

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