A roof over their heads

When arriving very early this morning, mother and baby were still asleep. They had created a closed-off space with some sheets and scarves behind which they had spent the night. A little later, Juan Carlos was preparing a cardboard box for the baby to spend the day in.

cardboard-crib-1

That kind of strikes me, because in the paper project we designed to raise the funds for the production, U.S. co-producer Emily Lobsenz came up with the term “cardboard cribs” which I always thought sounded very good but never thought more about. This despite the picture which adorns the above posted “introduction”, taken on the central square of Guatemala City in July of last year which no doubt inspired the term. Anyway, a few moments later a friend of the two, who’s standing by to help out, turned the cardboard crib concept into reality and made it a true element of the film.

cardboard-crib-2

Obviously, this sidewalk being used by the various market stalls (mainly selling food and illegal CD’s – smelly and noisy), the three couldn’t stay there all day and soon retired to the shadow of the park’s biggest tree.

park

A little later, Juan Carlos left in a desperate state to hire a room for them. He had gotten some money together to pay two days upfront, and is hoping his father, who has pretty much abandoned him, will help them pay the rent. He ran into his father by accident a little later on, but we have a feeling he’s not willing to support them. This despite Juan Carlos saying they will talk on the phone “tomorrow” to resolve the issue (this has been going on for four days now).

Then again, when I saw the room, I wasn’t sure whether staying in the park would have been better. It’s a 2×2 meter space with a cement floor and grey-brick walls. No bed. They even had to bring their own light bulb. No wonder for the $1.50 daily rent…

cuarto

It’s like the park, but much hotter and with walls.

The pictures I enclose are video screen grabs, and belong to filmed scenes which might find their way into the final film. The material I am getting is already so varied and so rich, that I couldn’t be more content. I am avoiding using the word “happy” as it’s hardly appropriate. While the footage is getting better, my empathy for the family I am following is also increasing. I wonder whether at some point, the latter will become influential over the former, which will mark a reverse in the project. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow.

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