Reportage / Documentary

Shantytowns in Andalusia

Andalusia is one of the main horticultural regions in Europe, especially the area of Huelva and Almeria, where intensive production of products such as raspberries and other types of red fruits are grown most of the time.
For more than 25 years, this has attracted a large number of seasonal workers, mainly sub-Saharans and Moroccans seeking a better future for themselves and their families. These people are mostly «nomads», moving from one town to another in the territory depending on the fruit-growing season they are in.

Because many do not have legal papers and because access to housing is really difficult in the area, they are forced to live in shantytowns where conditions are totally contrary to the most basic human rights.
The vast majority of these shantytowns have extremely unsanitary conditions and a lack of resources, to the point that they are very vulnerable to climatic adversities and very often floods or fires end up destroying what little they have.

Even so, the institutions seem to be opening their eyes more and more to the injustice of these forgotten people. A few months ago, the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions presented a petition to the European Commission, promoted by IU and several NGOs in the region, which has decided to investigate the situation in the area and the violation of the most basic human rights of these people.

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September 30, 2021. Salem (on the right) is of Moroccan origin and shares one of the shacks in the camp with two other people. Ibrahim (left) is Senegalese and does not speak Spanish. He shares one of the shacks in the camp with Ousmane. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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October 1, 2021. Musa works in one of the intensive raspberry fields around the shantytown. In recent years, the province of Huelva has become one of the main red fruit production areas in southern Europe. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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September 30, 2021. Zou is Senegalese and arrived at the shantytown after a few months working in Galicia. Like him, many seasonal workers travel all over Spain, looking for work depending on the fruit season they are in. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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September 30, 2021. Flooding in these shanty camps is a frequent occurrence. The last one happened after a strong storm, DANA, caused the river next to the settlement to burst its banks, carrying away entire shacks, clothes and some objects belonging to the people living there. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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September 30, 2021. The sanitary conditions in these shantytowns are minimal, if not non-existent, which is why the people who live in them can contract infections and other health problems on a frequent basis. The coexistence with domestic and wild animals makes this situation worse. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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September 30, 2021. A boy looks inside one of the camp's shacks, searching for one of his friends. These shacks are usually made of cardboard and wood in the structure and different types of plastic to insulate the inside from the weather. Shanty settlements like this one can be found around different towns and cities in the area. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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June 12, 2021. Peter and Emmanuel are from Ghana and live in a shack at the foot of the road that connects Níjar with San Isidro. Lacking legal papers, they do odd jobs working in the fields and greenhouses in the area. Many of them say that they suffer extortion by the owners of these greenhouses, who ask them for up to €5,000 to offer them a job offer, which would allow them to start the process of obtaining legal papers. Níjar, Almería (Spain).
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September 30, 2021. Asina (not his real name), a young man of Senegalese origin, is sitting watching television in one of the premises managed by the Asnuci association in the city. In these premises, they can wash, shower and change clothes for a small fee, either as members or as occasional visitors. Some of them complain that these services should be free because of the situation of desperation and poverty they face. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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October 1, 2021. Situation of one of the greenhouses around the shantytown, after the DANA storm that destroyed a large part of the harvest. Most of the seasonal workers in the area work in intensive soft fruit greenhouses like this one. Sometimes they can work up to twelve hours a day, depending on the fruit growing season. Lepe, Huelva (Spain).
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June 10, 2021. Fátima, a young woman of Moroccan origin, is collecting water at one of the wells in the San Isidro camp. Basic resources such as water are sometimes scarce in this area and many seasonal workers travel long distances to reach these water supply points. This area of Almeria, known as Mar de Plástico, is famous for a large number of horticultural greenhouses and therefore shanty towns that have been established around them for many years. San Isidro, Almeria (Spain).





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