Monday, May 14, 2012

LA COLINA                              

 By  Evaristo De León

La Colina is a neighborhood to the north of San Francisco de Macorís. It is very important due to it has the oldest and the biggest aqueduct in the city. Many people in La Colina work on construction. The people are kind and honest there. La colina is the third biggest neighborhood in San Francisco de Macorís. To the ironic act of the people, you can find a city district with more than one thousand houses and more than thirty streets in La Colina.
         First of all, July Rivas was the land owner in La Colina. He lived there from 1950 to 1983. July Rivas’s wife was Mrs. Luz Cordova and they had three sons and one daughter. July Rivas had a cattle ranch with coconut trees, orange trees, palm trees, and mahogany in La Colina. In those times, July Rivas had a law paper deed with just 14 duties because nobody could declare more than 14 duties by law. One day, a robber got into the land and went up a coconut tree. Bobolo found him. He had a gun. They fought and Bobolo shot him and to death. July Rivas had to go away. July Rivas permitted a company to build a neighborhood in one part of the land. Later, the people who worked in the company began to see the trees that could be useful to build houses such as palm trees, and mahogany. Several months later, July Rivas sold all the property to Rafael de la Cruz at the end of 1983.
                After that, in 1984, some people bought different pieces of land and other people invaded the greatest part of the land in La Colina. When Rafael de la Cruz became the land owner, the people began to get into the land. In that time, Arelis Lora was one of the first founders. She said that just two houses were built with zinc and carton. Later, a company wanted to urbanize the land with Rafael de la Cruz permission. They had to go away because of the invasion. The company excavated the part where they planned to make the streets and put water pipes. The invaders began to steal the pipes and sell them. Rafael de la Cruz had no idea what to do and let the invaders build houses. He didn’t have papers for all the land. Later, Rafael de la Cruz tried to go there with some police officers and some people who had guns. But it was not enough to get the land back. The invaders began to cut coconut trees, palm trees, orange trees, and mahogany to build their houses. Many of them argued for the pieces of land with one another. Later, everything calmed down. After that, many people sold their pieces of land and others bought them with no problem although they didn’t have title deeds. Later, there were tension days. One day, people heard that the police was going there and they were alert. Many people agreed and said that they would not give the land back. After that, the land owner tried to negotiate with the invaders, but they didn’t want to. Fifteen years later, the City Hall in San Francisco de Macorís gave them papers which said that each person was the land owner of their pieces of land. Sometimes, it is heard that the land owner and his sons want their land back. The invaders agree to fight or die for their pieces of land. Not many founders are alive. Just three of them live there. Nowadays, family’s founders say that they going to do whatever to keep the land. Many people that live in La Colina bought their pieces of land and they don’t want to give them back.
Thirdly, the people built their first houses with zinc and carton. Just two houses were finished. Then, the people fenced their pieces of land and cut the coconut trees, palm trees, orange trees and mahogany. They hurriedly built the houses by using whatever they had. They just wanted to keep the land. Later, they finished their houses and moved there. Some people took off the pipes and sold them to build their houses because the company had gone. Some of them built houses that were blown down by the wind. They only wanted to be there and keep their territory. They built houses and fought for that. Later, they finished the houses and some of them sold them. Some people went over there to buy the pieces of land. After that, almost everything calmed down and the land owners stopped to push them. Later, many of them tried to build their houses with concrete.
         The fourth and last aspect to mention is that the people didn’t make streets before building their houses in La Colina. They began to build their houses and they didn’t care about building streets. Later, they thought of what would Las Colinas be without streets. First of all, they began with one street and they named it Calle 1. Later, the street had holes and trenches because of the pipes that they had taken off. After that, the major Felix Rodriguez sent a bulldozer to fix it. When the bulldozer finished, the people were happy. At the beginning, there were some problems. The rain caused trenches. They tried to throw crushed stones to fix it, and that worked only for two weeks. That made inhabitants to build other street in the back of La Colina. They named it Calle Principal. That street was connected with the Calle 1.
Most of the people in La Colina lost their land and others did not. Nothing happened because they needed it. La Colina had two streets named calle 1 and calle principal. Those who didn’t have their houses near those streets, used many different paths. During 15 years, those were their ways. Later, the City Hall gave the people papers and sent equipments to work on all streets La Colina needed. When they finished making the streets, there were many. Only two had names and the others did not. In 2010, the government together with the City Hall of San Francisco de Macorís asphalted all the streets in La Colina. They gave names to all the streets, too. The streets are named by letters and numbers. Around 12 streets are named by numbers and others are by the letters.
In conclusion, July Rivas was the land owner and lived in La Colina since 1950. This had a great forest with coconut trees, palm trees, orange trees, and mahogany. July Rivas wanted to urbanize the place while he lived there. He had to go away. Later, July Rivas sold the land to Rafael de la Cruz, who continued with the plan of urbanizing it. In 1984, some people bought some pieces of land to urbanize them and others invaded it. The invaders built their first houses with zinc and carton. Later, they cut the trees to continue building their houses. Some of them fought to keep their pieces of land. After that, everybody calmed down and they began to make the first street in the land. Later, they continue with the rest of the streets. Fifteen years later, the City Hall sent equipments to make the all streets that La Colina needed and they gave names to all of the. Many of our city districts in the Dominican Republic began the same as La Colina.
San Francisco de Macorís 2012

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