2013 and 2014 | Photo Essay: The condo, consequences of a long-term financial crisis
According to official information it is estimated that the Portuguese construction sector has a debt of 19 billion euros to banks, and that this area has been losing about 198 jobs per day in 2013.
The Bella Guarda condo, located on the outskirts of Lisbon was presented in March 2006. The project, consisting of two blocks and 75 apartments offered to its future owners a privileged view over the Tagus River, private park, roof top pool, mini-golf, green areas, children playground, video surveillance system and sound system.However, like many other projects whose construction began before the financial crisis, it turned out incomplete due to bankruptcy of the builder and the property passed into the hands of a private bank.
With the worsening of the financial crisis in Portugal, a serious social crisis raised. Progressively the condo started to be occupied by people who had slept on the streets for years, but also by people who lost their jobs recently and no longer could afford to pay the houses in which they lived. Some of them came just passing by, others to stay. Some of them with the only thing left to them after losing everything: their dignity.
To protect themselves from the rain and cold, they blocked the windows and doors with wooden planks, took with them the little or nothing that they possessed and started to call that place their new "home". While some of them cooke with the grocery that they receive monthly from an charity association, others go on a daily basis to get the lunch and dinner at other institutions and associations in the city. There are those who have no family at all, and those that have been forgotten by them, those who have no job and those that go to work for a day or half a day, only when an extra pair of hands is needed.