Eva lives in colonia Alfapanamericano, one of the worst examples of the paucity of adequate housing resources in Tijuana. Built as a housing project for newly arrived workers in the early 80's, Alfapanamericano was condemned within a few years as substandard housing. The neighborhood was evacuated as some buildings literally crumbled underneath their own weight. But this enforcement of housing regulations was short-lived, and soon the condemned buildings began to fill with squatters, "paracaidistas" (parachutists), who landed in Tijuana from all parts of Mexico seeking work and a better life.
Eva and Carmen sit on the rubble of a collapsed building in front of Eva's apartment in Colonia Alfapanamericano.
By stealing electricity (attaching small cables known as 'diablitos' to the major power lines), the residents have electricity. By a complete lack of attention, the water and sewage services to the colonia evacuated 20 years ago remain active. Eva considers herself lucky, because she has four solid walls and pays no rent. But the crumbled building next to her building apocalyptically forebodes faults in the construction of her home.
all photos this page: darcy mckinnon