|Leonardo and Nana head toward Seventh Ave.|
But now his lifestyle is in danger: By January, 2013, Bogotá intends to outlaw the thousands of horsecarts which now rumble thru the city's streets.
When I asked Leonardo, who is 17, about what his family would do instead, he first smiled brightly.
"They're going to give us a motorized tricycle," he said.
I asked him whether they wouldn't have to pay for the new vehicle.
Yes they would, he acknowledged, suddenly glum. And most of the city's zorreros, who are poor people, likely won't be able to afford the machines.
Leonardo climbed into his cart, pulled by his horse Nana, and plunged into Bogotá's traffic.
|A horse and cart wait outside the city's Central Cemetery.|
|Traffic jams: horse carts' fault?|
Bogotá could do much more to reduce traffic congestion by restricting private vehicle use and junking some of those old, polluting buses.
|A zorra rolls home thru the Los Martires neighborhood.|
I do also wonder about city officials' sincerity, because they've shown little concern about the suffering of other animals, such as bulls and roosters killed in public spectacles and the thousands of animals raised and slaughtered every day to feed bogotanos' stomachs.
It seems clear to me that officials' strongest motive for wanting to ban the zorras is cosmetic. For a city which wants to create an image of modernity and progress, horse carts on the street just do not fit in the picture.
|Nana enjoys a bite while ignoring the 19th Ave. traffic.|
Police also find themselves at a loss when dealing with zorras in violation of laws. After all, you can't tow a horse and cart, and the city has no place to care for hundreds of work animals.
Most likely, horsecarts won't disappear from Bogotá for a while yet.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours