Residential Areas, Tijuana
"La mona" or "La mujer casa" (the doll or The house women)
She looks as the statue of liberty, but is a home. The home of Armando Mu?os and Family.
Mu?oz was a dreamer, and made of his dream a house.
People from all the world came and offered him money to buy it, but he didn't want them to move it to another country, his dream was made it a kind of monument in Mexico, but unfortunately not government or Mexican could afford it or take it seriously and this great piece of art end as his family house.
Now forgot in the middle of improvised poor houses.
I remember someone telling me this was the maestro for Sanchez, and that he was planning to try and get across the US border for a better life. I know a lot is made of the immigration 'problem' around the world, but I'm sure people would have a harder time judging those desperate to flee if they only saw the kind of life those trying to flee are leading.
Another shot of the group. We built 57 concrete steps in our 5 working days. Therefore, we called ourselves the '57-Step Gang'. In our group was myself, Tina R., Tina T., Elena W., Dawn O., Christian P., Sandra M., Roberta R., Lydia D., Bob 'Corky' C., Anthony 'the Big O' C., and our trip leader Michelle J.
When it came to working at the actual sites, our large group was split into two. Each group worked on different projects, miles apart. This picture shows the site at Florez, where I worked. Our job was to build stairs up a steep hill. We only managed to do one out of the three needed sets! Let me just say, the climb to the top, where the schoolhouse would be, was enormous. We avoided the bathroom--not because it was gross, we got used to that--because the climb was awful!
A word about the bathrooms at this site--they were right near to the work area.....although for the first day they were REALLY bad. Not long after, they were cleaned up. But we tried to remember that for some people, a ramshackle hut with a hole in chipboard for a toilet seat and excrement in the corner of the floor was reality.
The other part of Tijuana, the part that you normaly don't get to see. If you plan to travel and in to this parts i would suggest having a guide. Mostly becuase it would be very easy to get lost, the streets have no names, also they are covered in garbage and stray dogs are all over. It's a must see area.
Walk around the residential areas of Tijuana (hmm... at daytime to feel secure) and enjoy or don't enjoy the mess around you. These houses looks like built or rather packed one by one with no plan - am I wrong?
And they usually don't have any yards. Is it the next sign of poverty or just a culture thing?
This next group of 'off the beaten path' pictures are from the site at Sanchez. The second group made the foundations for a schoolhouse. At Sanchez, there was Dawn P., Andrea N., George O., Lisa A., Amanda R., Marianne C., Melissa M., Keith B., Kenric Y., Lannon D., Natalee C., Andrea M., and my other best friend in the world, Dorothy W.
Another view of our stairs. This truck brought in the somewhat ancient cement mixer everyday for us. (we had to be very careful with the tools--we even had some stuff stolen one day by a gang of glue-sniffing teenagers) Once mixed, we then passed the fresh cement up the hill, bucket by bucket like an old fashioned fire brigade. The maestro, the leader of the site, would then tell us where and how to place it. A job I often did was to catch the buckets that were thrown down from the top when they were emptied. In fact, I still have faint scars from the buckets cutting into my forearms!
This beautiful tree was in the courtyard of the mission we were staying in. It was the perfect climbing tree!! Therefore, myself and a few friends would climb it everyday and just chat. In fact, we were there so much we ended up being called the 'Tree Climbers of Tijuana'....
There were a few plateaus of unstaired dusty hills to climb before reaching this point. The background shows a pretty good view of the houses where the locals lived.
The finished Sanchez project, waiting for the next group to continue on with building the school....