Extreme poverty in Europe
In 1959 Spain and Portugal had an autarchic economy based on subsistence agriculture and were at the head of Europe’s poorest countries. The so-called Stabilisation Plan, approved that year to achieve economic stability, unleashed great migration processes from the countryside to the cities, where shantytowns with no infrastructure sprang up.
In Madrid, the area of Vallecas took in the first batches of rural emigrants in the sixties, who installed themselves in shantytowns like el Cerro del Tío Pio. The women of this township had to walk three kilometres to the fountain, four or five times a day, carrying nine litres of water in a pitcher at their breast on the return journey.