This post aims to show and report on a fantastic site for our wonderful country: Villa Lago Epecuén (Argentina, Buenos Aires). A place where only ruins and memories invorrables of the inhabitants of the area when this beautiful community of only 3,000 inhabitants in the summer is filled with more than 30,000 people from all over the world. Flooding the 80's and negligence of politicians, they ended up destroying the place.
Epecuén Villa, located about 500 kilometers from Buenos Aires, is a town that disappeared through a devastating flood in 1985. The waters around the community have a salinity almost Epecuén only comparable only with the Dead Sea (which is 3 times lower salinity waters Epecuén), making it the only omissions from around the world to have those characteristics. That is why it was visited by people from different countries of the world because its waters are said to have healing properties or, at least, is good for some diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis, and others. In one of the posters are displayed throughout the town in which the stories are told, there is one that recounts the brief life of a woman of high social classes of Europe to be built there at that time what was considered a mansion to end up living in Epecuén after visiting every summer. In that house, plus living, the lady wearing needy children elsewhere to give asylum, assistance and food.
Over 30,000 people visited the town every summer in search of those miraculous waters, in search of joy, fun, first class entertainment for those times, first class hotels, and a quiet place to rest. It was developed as a tourist destination since its founding, the January 23, 1921. It was the refuge of thousands of grandparents who sought relief in the salt to the problems in the bones, joints and skin. Also hundreds of Jews who chose and adopted as a summer resort by the similarities of the properties of water to the Dead Sea. To this day the flood came to have an accommodation capacity of 5,000 beds in 220 establishments including hotels, pensions and residences (something unthinkable for a town of 3,000 inhabitants). The tourism industry also lived with the exploitation of the salt used in the field of pharmaceuticals and the manufacture of glass. Here are some pictures of the golden ages of Villa Lago Epecuén.
This is one of the most emblematic buildings of Villa Lago Epecuén known as "The Castle".
The Phantom: The Legend of "Tears of Spring".
According to legend, after a major forest fire, a child was found by a group of Indians and baptized levuches Epecuén, which in their language means "almost burnt" in memory of the fire that was saved by a miracle. The orphan grew strong and proved to be brave in war. In a victorious battle against puelches, Epecuén-that it was an attractive young man, seized the daughter of the chief enemy, the young and fresh Tripantu, which in plain language means "spring."
The love of the maiden warrior and lasted as long as a full moon and after that period of intense happiness, Epecuén fell in love with other captives stolen in battle. This caused a deep sadness in Tripantu and began to mourn so that her tears formed a large salt lake that drowned Epecuén and all her lovers. That was his revenge.
Knowing that Epecuén had drowned, she Tripantu lost his mind and he roamed along the shores of the lake. A full moon night, the girl heard the voice of his beloved in the murmur of the water coming out. Since that night never saw Tripantu and the lake became sacred to all the tribes of the area. This air becomes palpable ghostly dusk, when the horizon is cut the figures of the semi-submerged trees and profiles of the buildings of the former village Epecuén, abandoned since 1985 to remain under the waters of the lake overflowed.
"Those who listen carefully to the constant murmur of the lake may hear voices and Tripantu Epecuén at last united and happily ever after, and in its first moon of love".
The beginning of the end: the natural disaster and responsibility for the coup.
In 1975, the provincial government built the canal Ameghino, a feat of engineering that connected several watersheds and regulating the flow of water in all the lakes in the region. With this system any will dry out and there was no risk of flooding. But more was not controlled from the 1976 coup. "He turned on the tap, but not closed it again," Ruben Besagonil plotted, a former resident of Epecuén.
What I tried to be the solution of a problem condemning the town ended. Since 1980 the gap grew between 50 and 60 centimeters per year and threatened to exceed the embankment built to protect the people. No one thought the worst, but the tragedy occurred and when the protection broke down, there was no turning back. What happened to all the people? Although resigned to leave the village had to rebuild their lives as they could, anyway.
Most will sued the provincial government. Some claimed 50 percent of the value of the property and those who might expect given their fair share, but 15 years later. "We were penniless, homeless and jobless. Was very difficult. Feel sadness and helplessness because they could have been avoided." Lamented Richard Zappia, another former resident, sitting on the rubble that was his hotel.
In the last five years the water receded several feet and flooded a few blocks remain today. The town is emerging from a flood and it is expected that next summer all the ruins are on the surface. Offer a different appeal: just see the memories of what was once the epicenter of tourism in the region.
Their lives. The word of one of the villagers.
"You lose your property and you have to live on borrowed time, overcrowded schools, waiting for a meal at a soup kitchen. It's true: many claimed compensation, but my family does not. We had to shuffle and deal again ... and here we are. you lose your friends, in my case for a child of 8 years ... I have friends who remember them from pictures, since from that morning never heard from them and many have lost even their name, because in desperation see your people with 2, 3 and 4 meters of water, people with family fled to other cities and many more never returned. "
"To lose the life ... no one died in the flood, but of course ... who can tell us or make sure no one was delivered into the arms of resignation and sadness to hope an end? ... And there are those who are among us carrying a backpack weighing bittersweet memories and uncomfortable. "
Ariel Sewald - Former Inhabitant.
This is what remains today of this thriving community of our country that fell victim to the ferocity of nature and the atrocity of the officials.
PICTURES TAKEN BY ME
This is me in the ruins of one of the most expensive hotels in Lake Villa Epecuen.