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What does Barrio mean?
What about your saucepans
Ten years in the life of a British woman
living in the Dominican Republic

What does 'Barrio' mean?

Find out what Barrio means. Barrio is explained by Lindsay de Feliz - author of What about your saucepans


A barrio is the Spanish Word for a neighbourhood. It tends to have a somewhat pejorative sense in that they tend to be lower class areas on the edge of towns and can also be called slums. Barrio living has advantages on the one hand in that everyone knows everyone and there is a good spirit of neighbourliness, but on the other hand, the living conditions can be cramped and there is often a lack of basic services such as electricity, water and sanitation.

Living in the barrio does present a health hazard however, as cholera whilst not rife, is ever present. The water supply tends to be sporadic and people will take water from the local rivers and canals which is often contaminated, due to the lack of sewage systems. There are also outbreaks of dengue as waste water is left in the street, in gutters which run down the sides which are ideal breeding grounds for the dengue mosquito.

Chapter 11 of the book looks at barrio living in detail and takes you through the daily life in the barrio, from getting up to the sound of cocks crowing in the early morning, mopping out the house to get rid of the dust then cooking the most important meal of the day at noon, usually chicken rice and beans, sitting on a plastic chair in front of the house in the afternoon, chatting to the neighbours and finally having a few beers in the local colmado at night.

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Chapter 11: Hope
"...Barrio will see,” was the only answer I could get out of him, so I sat back to enjoy the ride. I had no idea where we were going, and dozed off. I was abruptly wakened with the car bumping up and down, and looked out of the window. We ..."
"...Barrion the Barrio was very different. The noise for one thing. It was only quiet from midnight to five in the morning, apart from barking street dogs. The day would begin at five with the roosters crowing. The neighbours would put the radio on full blast, all different stations of ..."
"...Barrioas good and I revelled in the peacefulness as each day I felt the stress leaving my body. I felt no need to go out, enjoying the calm, smiling at the neighbours and the goings on in the Barrio. Danilo left every week to go back and meet with the ..."

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