Moving on, moving out.

Last April, while I was doing my research for a mini documentary project for a Magnum workshop I was attending, I found out about the Cactus Rose Community in the Montópolis area here in Austin. Cactus Rose is a trailer park that is in the verge of dissapearing because of gentrification. The land is being sold in order to build apartments and the current inhabitants need to relocate by the end of 2016. However, this relocation process is not that easy, since the trailers are too old to be accepted somewhere else. This means that they need to look for a new trailer or house in an affordable area, which is every time more scarce in Austin. Their lives are about to change dramatically and it was not their choice.
Susana Almanza, the director of PODER (Prople Organized in the Defense of Earth and her Resources) and Saul Madero, the current representative of the Cactus Rose community, are working tirelessly to get to a negotiation with the city of Austin in order to obtain new trailers and a place to relocate.

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Susana Almanza, director of PODER (People Organized in the Defense of Earth and her Resources). PODER fights constantly again gentrification in east Austin, and is helping Cactus Rose to negotiate a fair relocation with the city of Austin.

 

I visited the community for a week and had the chance to talk and share with many of its inhabitants. They were very friendly and open the doors of their homes to me. These photographs intent to preserve a pice of their lives the way they are now, before the big change.

 

 

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Entrance to Cactus Rose trailer park.
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Cactus Rose trailer park.
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Saúl Mader0, the community leader of Cactus Rose, in the door of his house.

 

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On a warm April afternoon, a family shares a moment outside their trailer while their baby sleeps in a hammock.
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Lupita changes the diaper of her daughter Hiromi in their home at Cactus Rose trailer park,
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Light pours through the window of a room in the house of Lupita and Hiromi.
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Lupita and her daughter Hiromi.
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Hiromi tries to look through the window of her house at Cactus Rose.
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Part of he yard of Lupita’s house. They have chickens and goats.
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Exterior of Lupita and Hiromi’s house win the Cactus Rose community.
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A girl observes curious through the bars in the porch of her home in Cactus Rose trailer park..
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Exterior of a trailer in the Cactus Rose trailer Park.
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Sandra Sorto has lived in Cactus Rose for two years. She used to live in Riverside, but she says they moved to Cactus because it was unsafe there. She likes the life in cactus Rose because neighbors take care of their kids and pets as a community. Here is Sandra in the porch of her home in the afternoon, after work.
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Santiago has three kids and is at home waiting for his wife to come back from work. In te mean time, he makes sure the kids do their homework and have dinner.
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Afternoon at home after school.
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Watching TV after school.
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A cat awaits outside of Santiago’s house, among the kids’ toys.
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José Luis Sarellano at the door of his home in Cactus Rose trailer park.
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Saúl Madero and Jose Luis Sarellano Having dinner at the Sarellanos’ home. Siblings María, Mely, and José Luis Sarellano live together in their own trailer in Cactus Rose.
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Mely Sarellano warms tortillas for dinner at her home in Cactus Rose trailer park.
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Sandra Natarén and her daughter Naidra outside of their home in the Cactus Rose trailer park.
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Little Naidra plays outside her home.
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Irma Venegas has lived in Cactus Rose for ten years with her husband and their two kids. She thinks that making the decision to move out before they have to vacate, would be better than waiting until the end.
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Mailboxes at Cactus Rose. Many of them ave been damaged for months.
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Fidel González with his niece Giovanna and their pets outside an old laundry facility that now works as a meeting room in Cactus Rose.

 

 

 

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