consejo-vecinos-Caparra
Parte del grupo que practica Taichí todos los martes. Al centro, la doctora Farre-Rigau.

por Laura C. Pita

Vecinos ayudando a vecinos, una idea tan simple contiene un poder incalculable a la hora de mantener una comunidad segura. Esta es la dinámica que busca fomentar el Consejo Comunitario de Seguridad de la Urbanización Jardines de Caparra junto a la Policía Municipal de Bayamón.

La urbanización cumple 56 años de existencia y está compuesta de 1,500 casas, dos condominios, un residencial y una barriada.

La Dra. Ylda Farre-Rigau, profesora jubilada de la Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Río Piedras, se preguntaba “¿Y ahora que?” Toda la vida fue activa, crió a su familia y terminó su carrera luego de treinta años. Desde ese momento le ha dedicado sus años de retiro a su comunidad, su iglesia, al igual que a organizaciones como la Cruz Roja y la asociación de jubilados y personas de edad más avanzada agrupadas en la asociación de retirados y jubilados (conocida por sus siglas AARP).

Desde el 2011, con la ayuda de Farre-Rigau, el Consejo Comunitario de Seguridad ha tomado un enfoque un poco distinto, dirigido más a la participación, activación y motivación de la comunidad.

Una de las primeras iniciativas del consejo, bajo este nuevo rumbo, fue la creación del concepto, MANOS Comunitarias. El grupo cuenta con un representante por calle (o 45 MANOS) para distribuir promoción y literatura, como lo es el boletín mensual “Conectando entre Vecinos”. Las MANOS “son nuestra conexión con el pueblo”, declaró Ivelisse Maceira, residente y secretaria del consejo.

Periodo de deterioro y de transformación

La comunidad siempre fue bien estable, nunca hubo mucha venta de propiedades. “Ahora hay muchos entierros y muchas visitas a funerarias”, expresa Farre-Rigau, residente desde hace cincuenta años. La edad promedio de los residentes es de 80 años.

En su calle nada más, hay ocho casas vacías. Pero se siente esperanzada de que pronto estas casas sean adquiridas por una nueva generación, lo que traerá de vuelta el sonido de niños jugando en la calle.

Farre-Rigau y el Consejo Comunitario de Seguridad, a través de pequeños proyectos buscan mejorar la calidad de vida de los vecinos de tercera edad. El Centro Comunal ahora cuenta con clases de Taichí los martes, Yoga los miércoles y el Sistema Viva, del programa Mejora Tu Salud del Municipio de Bayamón, que ofrece ejercicios de bajo impacto los jueves. Cine en el Centro es otra actividad que tiene el propósito de sacar a los adultos mayores de sus casas y a que conozcan a sus vecinos. Entre sesenta a setenta personas se presentan a estas actividades.

El proyecto más reciente del Consejo ha sido la restauración de un parque abandonado. La idea es crear un parque intergeneracional, con un gimnasio al aire libre para los adultos. El parque será inaugurado el 28 de abril.

reunion-consejo-caparra
La Consejo de Seguridad celebra su asamblea con una nutrida representación de la comunidad.

¿Qué tiene que ver esto con seguridad?

El concepto de Consejo Comunitario de Seguridad surge como iniciativa de la Policía para activar voluntarios a hacer trabajo de enlace entre la comunidad y la uniformada. La vigilancia vecinal “forja vínculos entre los residentes de un área, ayuda a reducir los robos y atracos y mejora las relaciones entre la policía y las comunidades”, según la Ley 241 del 2012.

El Consejo de Jardines de Caparra va más lejos. Se inspira en “la teoría de la ventana rota” para justificar y exponer todos estos cambios innovadores. La teoría lee:

“Si se rompe el cristal de una ventana en un edificio y nadie lo repara, pronto estarán rotos todos los demás cristales. Si un edificio o una comunidad humana manifiesta signos de deterioro y no parece importarle a nadie, ahí se generará enseguida el caldo de cultivo propicio para el delito”.

Esta teoría apoya el objetivo del Consejo. La limpieza de la comunidad es fundamental. Las 45 MANOS Comunitarias y las reuniones mensuales son esencial para informarse bien de las preocupaciones de los residentes. En cambio, las actividades creativas y recreativas tienen como propósito establecer un sentido de comunidad.

“En ese crear comunidad se establecen unos parámetros de seguridad, de conocer, de preocupación y de motivación”, precisa Ivelisse Maceira, residente desde hace 25 años. El fin es, añade, “vecinos ayudando a vecinos”.

La página de Facebook del Consejo Jardines de Caparra tienen más de 750 seguidores, lo que indica un altísimo nivel de participación.

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La autora es estudiante de Periodismo de la Escuela de Comunicación, Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Forma parte del curso de Redacción que colabora con el Seminario sobre Periodismo Comunitario que coordina el profesor Luis Fernando Coss.

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