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Carmen Cervantes lives with her three daughters and granddaughter in an unstable, one-room home in Tijuana made from scraps of wood haphazardly nailed together. The roof leaks and all five women share a queen bed pushed together with a bunk bed.
But Carmen doesn’t have time to worry about the condition of her house.
For the past 25 years, Carmen has been the sole caretaker of her two daughters and granddaughter, all who have severe special needs. Two of her daughters, Pamela and Cecilia, have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy; additionally, Pamela suffers from epilepsy and Cecilia is bound to a wheelchair, unable to walk or talk. Carmen’s 16-year old granddaughter Melina requires 24-hour specialized care, just like her aunts.
With Carmen at home tending to three family members with special needs, her eldest daughter, Selina carries the responsibility of being the sole breadwinner of the family. From medications to diapers to daily food and water, Selina struggles to cover the family’s basic needs with her minimum-wage job.
Simply put, their dilapidated house is the only option they have.
But we can change that.