Portraits of Misery in CoachellaFor those who live there, life at the wrong end of Avenue 54 in Southern California’s eastern Coachella Valley is a hot, rotting hell. As you head east, the “Bermuda shorts, putting greens and picture-window champagne dinners” found in abundance near the Arnold Palmer Golf Course give way to … (more)
For those who live there, life at the wrong end of Avenue 54 in Southern California’s eastern Coachella Valley is a hot, rotting hell. As you head east, the “Bermuda shorts, putting greens and picture-window champagne dinners” found in abundance near the Arnold Palmer Golf Course give way to “arsenic-tainted water, frequent blackouts and raw sewage that backs up into the shower.”
With this unflinching look at the lives of those who barely survive in the Coachella region, California Watch reporter Patricia Leigh Brown does honor to the withered tradition of no-frills investigation into the condition of the American dispossessed—people who appear to have been forgotten by much of the nation during the course of the latest great neoliberal race to the top. –Alexander Reed Kelly
Wait, before you go…
Israel and Fatima Gutierrez – the parents of Neftoli, 7, and Alexis, 5, and residents of the Rancho Garcia Mobile Home Park – live the nightmare daily.
The vinyl floors of their disintegrating trailer, which they rent, are dimpled with moisture. Plywood covers holes where windows once were, affixed with duct tape to walls in a slow state of collapse. Rats are a constant presence; sometimes, frogs make their way through the pipes. An extension cord leads from a single light bulb hanging from the bedroom ceiling to a socket with exposed wires.
“Sometimes, the niños shock themselves and scream,” Israel Gutierrez said.
In the tumbledown warrens of America’s pre-fab favelas – California’s Third World – the 20th century is a dim memory. Basic needs like potable water, safe and reliable electricity, rudimentary sanitation, and clean air can go unmet.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.