Juarez, Mexico. Photo Essay

Juarez, Mexico.

Killings show up every day in the news. Politicians on both sides of the border cast blame. Despite all drug related violence, the citizens of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico have to go on living their lives and have problems of their own to face. The current economic crisis is making it difficult to find jobs and as the city expands outwards neighborhoods are popping up without basic utilities. In early January 2009 I traveled to Juarez, Mexico with some friends to build a house for a family in need. This photo essay is about my time spent there.

This photo tour can be viewed as a slideshow. Simply click on an image to begin play or Click Here.

Juarez, Mexico. The build neighborhood.

The neighborhood that we built in was one of the newer areas that lacks many utilities. Many houses get electricity from pirate electrical lines run across the ground that the neighborhood kids play soccer on, and without waste management garbage either goes into the neighboring field or is burned.

Juarez, Mexico. First day of work.

Juarez, Mexico. Cutting wood.

Juarez, Mexico. New toy.

The recently cut wood scraps quickly turned into toys for the kids.

Juarez, Mexico.  Concrete supplies.

Juarez, Mexico. Chickens and concrete.

This of course happened after the concrete was almost finished.

Juarez, Mexico. Mom and child.

The young family that we built for has three kids ages 1, 3, and 4 and was living in a small cinder block house. The father had been out of work for a while and was unable to find stable employment. Many people in his condition end up looking for small day labor jobs to put food on the table.

Juarez, Mexico. Sifting sand for stucco.

Juarez, Mexico. Mixing the stucco.

Juarez, Mexico. Applying stucco.

Juarez, Mexico. Finishing the drywall.

Juarez, Mexico. Eating candy.

Once the neighborhood kids found out that we had a bag of candy it didn’t last long.

Juarez, Mexico. Toothache.

Toothache. I’m sure the candy didn’t help either.

Juarez, Mexico. He wanted to help.

Juarez, Mexico. Saving the chicken.

This dog appeared and started chasing the families chicken.

Juarez, Mexico. Chicken rescue..

The dog from the previous photos chased this chicken into a fence constructed from bed springs, where it got stuck. It was unable to get out by itself, and was rescued only to find it’s self toted around by this boy.

Juarez, Mexico. Playing soccer

Juarez, Mexico. Playing soccer with the kids.

Juarez, Mexico.

Handing over the house.

Photographers Notes

I shot over 1,800 images over the trip on my Canon 30D. I switched between my Canon 17-40 4L and Canon 70-200 2.8L IS. Since I was building while shooting my 30D took a beating, mostly from scratching against my tool belt. Some of the paint was scratched off underneath the LCD, but other than that no real damage was done.

In an attempt to bring about order the Mexican troops had been dispatched to Juarez. The only time we saw them was at a checkpoint the first day. We stopped at the checkpoint, and only after leaving did we realize that there were soldiers in makeshift bunkers aiming rifles at our vehicles. I wanted to get a photo on the day we left, but the checkpoint was not operational.

10 thoughts on “Juarez, Mexico. Photo Essay”

  1. I’m sure you change many peoples lives in so many ways.you must have a very big heart along with all the others that helped.Many people take money ,food and basic things for granted,Not knowing that alot of other people,like children who go without food and shoes.We can be selfish with spending money on things that arent imporant.Well god bless you all an awesome job was done.

  2. Thank you so much for helping. It is beautiful to see. May we all look out for each other and do our part in supporting our fellow human beings. May we all know how to bring sustenance where there is lack.

  3. I am so impressed. I don’t see too many people wanting to go to Juarez anymore, but thank you for doing this. My husband is from Juarez and I have been there several times. Those people need all the help they can get.

  4. Olá. Li uma reportagem sobre as mulheres e algo me chamou muita atenção, o caso de Rubi Escobedo, morta pelo namorado. A avo materna ficou com aguarda da criança, uma menina de anos que se chama Heiri. Mas a avo tambem faleceu.
    Fiquei preocupada com essa criança sozinha no mundo.
    Se alguem tiver alguma informaçao sobre ela, me avisem.
    Obrigada

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