Portrait of the Arriba neighborhood of Albelda de Iregua

Portrait of the Arriba neighborhood of Albelda de Iregua
Portrait of the Arriba neighborhood of Albelda de Iregua

Brazilian Bruna Moraes runs the Venaquí dog grooming salon on Arrabal de Albelda de Iregua street, in the heart of the Arriba neighbourhood. While she grooms a spaniel, she explains that she opened her own business in the basement of her house to avoid paying the bills. rental of a premises. «Before I worked in Logroño and, as I took many clients from here, I took the plunge and opened in September. I don’t lack work,” says Bruna. It seems unusual but its pet service is the only store open at street level in the entire neighborhood. An area that, although it appears calm on a Monday morning, in recent months has been the scene of several violent episodes: a sexual assault and another physical assault on the same neighbor, a young woman from Albelda, aged 28, as well as, on the other hand, , arrests and raids for robberies and drugs.

«Five neighbors who fight do not represent the entire neighborhood. My 6 year old son plays with the ball here, at the door. We are not afraid because it is a quiet neighborhood. The problems are specific and personal,” believes Bruna. The old town of Albelda is multicultural and the neighbors recognize the problems of coexistence, but they limit them to a small group and in the highest part, around Eras street. “It’s all slander!” exclaims a gypsy man next to Plaza San Martín when asked about the incidents. “Where the commotion is is upstairs, that’s where you have to go,” points out his wife.

The degradation of the area is also evident, like that of any old town, where ruined houses coexist, with some doorways even propped up, and rickety and abandoned furniture on the street, with beautiful corners, full of flowers. «This is like living as a family, everyone lives at home but, in summer, people go out into the fresh air to talk. I have never had problems with anyone,” explains Roberto Pérez, a Cuban who has lived there for 16 years.

«Criminal acts make a lot of noise and quickly fade away. Let’s hope they are solved because we feel sorry for the victim.”

Ricardo Zapatero

AA VV Barrio de Arriba

«It is worth living here because it is very peaceful and there are very good neighbors. “I go out on the street at any time and live in peace, there is good brotherhood,” says his mother-in-law, Alicia Grisales. But just because they don’t perceive danger on their streets doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the problems. «I have always heard that there is marijuana dealing. In marginalized places there are always conflicts, although here there is more talk than the truth. “They are specific, very localized problems,” considers Roberto Pérez.

The truth is that the Albelda City Council construction brigade is working on refurbishing the street furniture. Ricardo Zapatero, president of the neighborhood association, claims to tour the neighborhood once a week with a councilor to point out the needs. They are already proposing the rehabilitation of corners, squares… The local government team has presented a street redevelopment plan to the Government of La Rioja requesting their help.

«Although it needs to beautified a little, it is a very livable neighborhood. I have been here for seven years and I live wonderfully, without any problems. I have lived in the United States, in Cuba, on the Paseo de las Cien Tiendas in Logroño… and I have never felt identified with the neighborhood, but now I enjoy living here,” confesses Ricardo Zapatero. The president of the AA VV also recognizes the “criminal acts.” «They sound a lot and they also fade very quickly. They cause a bad feeling. We hope they are solved because we are sorry for the victim,” admits Zapatero. Otherwise, he assures, “life here is pleasant.”

Dolores Aragón returns home after going downtown to buy the magazine ‘Hola!’ and she also assures that the Arriba neighborhood “is quiet, although now it is a little busy.” «There are gypsies, but we all get along well. I get along wonderfully with everyone. “I talk to the whole town,” says Dolores. “There must have been some fights and I have seen movement, but like every day I see the Police passing by…”, the neighbor points out normally.

«Five neighbors who fight do not represent the entire neighborhood. We are not afraid because it is a quiet neighborhood.”

Bruna Moraes

Venaquí dog grooming

«There have been some robberies and now, at home, at night, when faced with any noise, as a precaution, you get up and look at everything»

David Prieto

Neighbor of Alejandra Jiménez street

David Prieto has lived on one of the lowest streets for 18 years and remembers having lived “super calmly.” “I have gone out with my plate to eat on the street, I have even left the keys on and nothing has happened,” says this neighbor. However, his, Alejandra Jiménez, which he described as “the quietest street in the world”, now has “some strange things.” «There have been some robberies and now, at home, at night, when faced with any noise, as a precaution, you get up and look at everything. Now you’re a little scared,” David confesses. After 12:00 p.m., a patrol patrols Santa Isabel and La Carrera streets. «We have to put a little order. And although we are calm down below, we have spent three years in which day in and day out the Civil Guard takes someone away,” David acknowledges.

 
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