Thursday, September 11, 2008

On the Border: San Bernardo

The San Bernardo Colony

Oscar tells me that at least five laws were broken by the developer in this community. The Canyon is prone to flooding, the roads are slick when dry and impossible to navigate when wet, and no water, electricity, or sewer were provided. The developer got away with this the way it happens too often in Latin America, cronyism.
Oscar and his organization have helped provide the residents of the community with water and electricity, but he has not been able to get them a sewer system. The sewer run-off and sediment is dangerous for the families of San Bernardo and will eventually land in the Tijuana River and Pacific Ocean.
The lots are about 20 square meters cost a family $30,000 (USD) and they HAVE to pay within 3 years. The costs for this land are high and many families have their homes foreclosed on not too long after finishing their house. Each family builds their house and as you can see above, they use a variety of materials (wood, metal, concrete block), adding and making improvements to the houses as more money becomes available.

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