Friday, June 2, 2023

“La 42” and its potential

Santo Domingo.- In recent months, the daily dynamics of the famous “La 42” street in the Capotillo sector, located in the National District, have become popular, based on the dissemination on social networks of the musical and entertainment movement that has essence in its streets. , clearly full of young people with contagious joy who try to project themselves within the local art scene, because it is the hot spot for the urban genre.

International exponents have visited the aforementioned street, being the cases of Ozuna and Bad Bunny, who in his last concert in the country gave a participation to the young Ángel Dior, who is from “La 42”, while the singer Rosalía placed a song of him during his recent presentation at a Louis Vuitton show in Paris. As it can be seen, what happens in the place transcends as a musical reference at an international level.

It is an unstoppable sociocultural phenomenon, which in an anarchic and spontaneous way is growing, showing a part of the Dominican Republic little known or celebrated. Which has allowed the identification of opportunities to channel this dynamic that is developing, in a way that can improve the lives of many young people with aspirations, and their families, and even entire communities, since it is a dynamic that is replicated in other neighborhoods across the country.

Tourism as a tool

Brazil case

It is enough to refer to the tourism developed in the favelas of Brazil, which attracts many foreign visitors interested in learning about the daily life and gastronomy of these neighborhoods.

The success is due to the organization with which the tour operators operate, the trust that the tour guides have earned and the support of official institutions. This dynamic generates a significant economy, entrenched in the jobs of the large number of businesses, especially bars and restaurants.

Colombian case

Another important reference is Comuna 13 of Medellín, which, at one time, was one of the most dangerous communities in the world, in which violence and extreme poverty were frequent among its inhabitants, as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia, and was intervened with community transformation strategies, thus turning it into a tourist attraction frequented by many.

Social empowerment initiatives that intervene in dangerous areas, rescuing cultural dynamics and transforming communities, provide a different picture of what happens on the streets of the poorest and most marginalized sectors around the world, such as the case of the Brazilian favelas and the commune 13 in Medellín, highly stigmatized (and impenetrable) for decades, since they only made it to the media due to the high incidence of crime, violence and delinquency associated with organized crime, specifically drug cartels and criminal gangs that had established themselves , many of which have been dismantled.

Some call it community tourism, favela tourism and experiential tourism. The interest generated by what happens in “La 42” would be a good opportunity to replicate in the country the model developed in Brazil and Colombia, which remains successful to date. It would be a kind of pilot plan, which, if it gives favorable results, could be emulated in other communities with similar characteristics.

Faced with such a possibility, young people should be the protagonists of the initiatives that are projected on “La 42”, because they have been responsible for publicizing what happens there, offering a fresh and humorous image, sometimes with a touch of the irreverence so associated with youth.

–Lisandro Macarrulla.


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