Published on 19th August 2019 by

Joel lives on Santa Cruz del Islote, a tiny island that’s one of the most densely-populated on Earth. Despite the cramped conditions and poverty, most inhabitants stay. Joel hopes to get to the mainland, however, as he wants to study.

The Caribbean island of Santa Cruz del Islote is barely larger than a football pitch. There’s no running water, no waste disposal system, neither a doctor nor a police officer. Yet the locals – some 500 of them today – tend to stay put. Joel is different: “I’m worried about getting stuck here like most, who’ve finished their schooling but haven’t left,” he says. “I know a lot of people who’ve never pursued their dreams.” He wants to become a nurse because he’s seen how detrimental it is when there is no medical help. To do so, he has to go to Colombia. He’s applying to the only university which offers nursing courses – the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla. If he gets in, he’ll be the first Santa Cruz resident to study. A report by Zule Gattás Morrón

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