Moving on, moving out part II

After almost one year of my last visit, I went back to Cactus Rose Trailer Park. According to what I was told, they should be out of the land by the end of 2016, but I was surprised to see the trailers still there every time I passed by. So I arranged a visit on January 4th not only to figure out what was going on, but also to bring some prints of my previous visits to the families. Some sort of piece of the life that is about to change forever.
I found the same cheerful people that I met in May 2016, but now with more empowerment about their current situation, and with less time to make important decisions.

The developers arrived to a deal with the community, offering $10,000 to the owners of single trailers and $20,000 for the doubles, and each family is going to receive the money once they leave the property. I found that even though there is big uncertainty about the future, this deal has shifted the general sentiment from desperation of being thrown to the streets, to hope about in a solution. However, there is not a specific deadline to leave the land, at least for now, and that has pushed home owners to look for the best solution for them, bringing divisions in the community and even inside some of the families. When you stop fighting for a common goal and start the pursuit of individual objectives, that is going to change the dynamics and can bring disagreements. And that is what is happening here. Some families want to take advantage of the situation to buy their own little piece of property, others, what to buy a new trailer, others have already packed to leave by the end of February to another trailer park, and others are still undecided.

Despite these new challenges, the day to day life continues and I found many families having a relaxed Saturday evening at home and was lucky enough to be invited to a Birthday party with good food and always, good laughter. Kids play and watch TV, while adults eat, talk, make jokes. Everything under the veil of an imminent change closer to them every day. Like Saúl Madero told me while we were at the Natalie’s Birthday party: “This could be the last party we have here”.

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Cactus Rose Trailer Park at night.
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Santiago Medrano and his boy at the door of their mobile home at Cactus Rose Trailer Park.

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Santiago Medrano’s kids looking at their own prints from last May.
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Cynthia Martinez talks on the phone while her daughter waits on the door. Cynthia is in contact with a realtor who can helo her finding a piece of land to buy.
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Saul Madero wants to buy a small land to live after leaving Cactus Rose. The person he wants to buy the land from has been accused of being a scammer and there are divided opinions about him. Saul believes him. Here is Saul in the area where his chickens and goats used to be.
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Saul’s wife gets very nostalgic with the picture of her daughter that I took in May. She is no longer living in Cactus Rose.

 

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Fidel González is a long term resident of Cactus Rose along with his family. 
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Fidel’s daughter and her dog.
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Lupita and her daughter looking at their prints from last May.
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Hiromi’s toys under the couch at home.
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Hiromi looks at the camera while her mom, Lupita, stares at her.
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Sandra Natarén is very worried about the uncertainty of her family. They have not found a place to move.
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Francisco and her wife celebrate de 16th Birthday of their daughter Natalie.
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Party set up outside Francisco’s trailer.
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Natalie poses in front of the Happy Birthday sign.
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Speakers with music were set up right outside the trailer.
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Birthday party for Natalie.

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