Waiting for the strawberry

Lepe, Spain 2017

After working just a few weeks illegally in the strawberry harvest season, many undocumented migrants are forced to live in shanty towns scattered throughout the province of Huelva. One of them is behind the municipal cemetery of Lepe. When the season ends, some 300 people, mostly Moroccans and sub-Saharan Africans from various countries, live with here with the few savings they have. Without the possibility of traveling, they wait until the following season with the hope that someone will make them a work contract and thus be able to regularize their administrative situation. The settlement burns constantly, and they lose everything they have. They do not have electricity or running water and the lack of toilets or showers makes proper hygiene impossible and this causes skin diseases. The extreme temperatures inside the plastic shacks cause sunstroke in summer and hypothermia in winter. Abu, a 26-year-old national of Côte d'Ivoire, arrived in Europe after jumping over the fence in Melilla in December 2014. Since arriving in the peninsula, this settlement is the only thing he knows. Your day to day is reduced to go fetch water to the side of the cemetery, find something to eat and go down to the nearby bars to charge your phone to look at social networks. He, like most of the people who live in this and other settlements, came here pursuing the European dream. Abu laments that he had never had to live in these conditions in his country, that he can not move forward or go home. With the hope of getting a work contract they can only wait for the next season of the strawberry.