Wings and an anchor


Owning a home isn’t always a source of endless joys. Yes, the house is yours, but if you do not have resources to repair it or convertible pesos to buy the paint, cement or tiles that it needs, then you are the owner of a problem in the shape of a house. Of course there are many, especially those on the outskirts of this city who are squatters without any legal title, who dream of having a complication similar to yours.

As the years pass, you notice how the facade deteriorates, how your balcony is no longer safe to stand on, or how the stairs have been cracked by the force of buckets of water.  Everything suffers from your unusual condition of being both owner and dispossessed.  The latter, because the regulations, prohibitions and restrictions on your property are so many that you have the impression you must ask permission for everything related to your house.

This home, that cost so many hours of work, resources, or the morbid waiting for a relative to die so that you may inherit it, is now your “wing” and your “anchor.”  It lets you invite friends to share your roof, but you cannot transfer the deed to whomever you’d like.  Plus, if you go abroad for more than eleven months, the confiscation threshold, you can kiss your whole dream good-bye.  It would seem that the house is no longer a shelter and refuge, but a burden that you carry on your back.

Then you think you could rent it to foreigners, and so stop the deterioration that you find everywhere, but it’s been years since they gave new licenses for this occupation.  Then you decide to trade it for something smaller and in a better condition.  A friendly voice warns you that if the Urban Reform gets wind of the fact that you received money for downsizing, they can take your home.

So you resign yourself to seeing your house fall down around you.  At least you have the property title to fan yourself with while you watch it crumble!


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