San Roque district, La Laguna

June 2003


La Laguna

Versión española

Photo 1: The San Roque district in La Laguna was split in two when the Vía de Ronda highway was built. This part of the district is on the downhill side of the road. The first photo shows the ravine. The culvert under the highway can be seen in the background.
Note the bare breeze-blocks of the flats on the left. The lack of weatherproofing is incredible, bearing in mind just how much it rains in La Laguna. There are cables all over the place, badly-concreted paths, and no safety railings. If it were not for the tastefully tiled roofs of the local ivory tower (Laguna's swish university chancellery - top left of photo), the scene could be practically anywhere in the Third World. The San Roque district is very close to the city centre but remains one of La Laguna's best-kept secrets.

San Roque district, La Laguna

Photo 2: It often rains in La Laguna and when it does, water pours down the stream - as do large quantities of rubbish and untreated sewage. The "stream" crosses the district and stinks to high heaven. This approach to waste disposal is common throughout the Canary Islands.

San Roque district, La Laguna

Photo 3: Blackish waters running past the canes lining the banks. There is no lack of organic nutrients here!

San Roque district, La Laguna

Photo 4: This jerry-built road-come-street was built next to the flood-prone ravine. Note the lack of weatherproofing on the housing blocks to the left. Is this a shanty town in Colombia, Nicaragua, or Río de Janeiro? No folks, it is La Laguna, a city that was recently declared a World Heritage Site!

San Roque district, La Laguna

Photo 5: Ravine with rubbish (and worse) along the stream banks. The watercourse runs through other city districts and has become an open sewer.

Urban Development

- More information on the Canary Islands' appalling buildings in our urban development section.

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