Horse and Cart Culture in Montevideo *

Right this was a majorly funny, disturbing and sad aspect to life in Montevideo, as I saw it. It’s the “horse and cart” culture.

In the United Kingdom, if you own a horse you are seemingly rich, as you clearly have land for it to live on and can afford it’s upkeep. Here in Montevideo, horses are sad slaves to poor people, who themselves are struggling for every peso in sight.

Every day and night you will see horse and carts riding through every street in Montevideo. Whether its in the suburbs, by the beach or even on the city’s busiest road, Avenida 18 de Julio. This is the “horse and cart” culture. But what exactly are they doing??

Well basically one horse is attached to a cart where normally one or two guys or girls sit down and beat the horse to steer it where to go through the main streets. These horses are over worked, and are often caught jumping traffic lights and causing traffic problems in town. Plus I don’t think it’s illegal, but it’s very common and very much a part of life.

They go down streets looking for money and any ways to get money. If you chip them in a bit of money (if you speak decent Spanish) they’d give you a ride to somewhere in town. But they smell like shit. Well of course they would, they stop at every litter bin in the city, the driver of the cart gets out, hokes in the bin looking for anything worth money.

This is usually plastic bottles or anything worth anything. I always feel uneasy as I walk past them and for this reason I haven’t been able to capture any close up photos or videos of this sad lifestyle. These horse and carts are basically their homes for some of these people. They seem to spend their entire day hoking in bins and they all smell bad. I really wonder how much money they earn per day just collecting rubbish.

It’s sad that that is their lifestyle, but it’s wildly amusing when your bus has to grind to a halt because of someone hoking out the rubbish, or a horse and cart shouting something to locals as they put their rubbish into a bin.

I didn’t catch any videos of this which is a regret of mine, I used to see at least 3 or 4 of these horse and carts every day while living in Uruguay’s capital city, a shame. And You Tube has no videos of it! It’s all in the memory…


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