Along the Hudson River , across from the island of Manhattan , there is a community reminiscent of the 'Hoovervilles' of the Great Depression. About 25 people live in this community during the winter season, doubling during the warmer seasons. The houses or chozas, as they call them, have been built with wood, blankets and tarps that residents have found in their surroundings. For almost two years, I had the opportunity to visit, get to know and photograph some of the members of this community, some of whom I still visit today.


Some of the inhabitants are US citizens, while the vast majority are from Central and South America. Cruz, born in Puerto Rico, is considered the oldest resident of the community. More than 30 years ago he built his first choza and since then he has built four more. Willy, Frank and Patty, addicted to crack, have lived there for the last 14 years along with Carmen and her son who is an adult himself. 'Chapin', alcohol addicted, spent eight years on the cliff until he finally decided to return with his family in Guatemala. 'Tio' and 'Pantera', lived in an apartment in New Jersey before the alcohol addiction caused them to move to the cliff, as they call it. Benito, due the lack of employment, decided to move next to 'Tio', so he could continue to provide financial support to his daughters in El Salvador. Mercedes and Eloi, known as the 'Monstruo', built their choza in 2012. A few months later, during a night of arguments with Mercedes, Eloi set fire to the choza and was deported as a result. Emilio shared his choza for about four years with his friend Angel, known as the 'Greñas' , until he was deported for illegal drugs use and vandalism. After the deportation of Angel, Emilio decided to stop drinking, find a stable job, and rent a room in Jersey City. Since then, his choza is inhabited by the 'Ruso'.


The US-born residents receive financial assistance from the government, while the others, make some money working sporadically in construction, washing cars or shoveling snow from the streets. In 2008, one of the inhabitants froze to death in one of the chozas. The winters can reach temperatures up to -12 ° C.

Despite these conditions, most choose to continue living on the cliff, because they believe that the shelters have too many rules.



- - Pictures taken with TRI-X400 film pushed to 1600ISO - year: 2009 to 2011. - -

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