Being broke in Colombia is not easy. Rent prices are expensive and some people are just not able to pay for a house. This is the case of Miguel Restrepo who is a former drug addict from Medellin that lives in the sewers. You know what’s even crazier than this? He is not alone. He lives with his wife Maria Garcia and their dog. You won’t believe how their ‘home’ looks like!
20. Meet Miguel
While most people look out their windows when they want to see what’s happening outside their house, Miguel looks upwards. He used to be a drug addict while young and this made it difficult for him to get money for a house. Luckily for him, he met Maria Garcia right before giving up.
19. Giving Up
Life was not going well for Miguel a couple of years ago and he didn’t have a place to call home. He was ready to give it all up, but everything changed when he met his wife. You won’t believe how comfortable his wife feels living in the sewers!
18. A Place to Call Home
The woman we are seeing in this picture is Maria Garcia. She is the one who gave hope to Miguel when he hit rock bottom. The two met each other on the streets of Medellin and they instantly knew that they were meant for each other. For how much time do you think they’ve been living in that sewer?
17. Twenty-Two Years
The couple has been living in the sewers for 22 years now. This is the place they call home and they are not willing to give it up. What’s interesting is that Miguel made some renovations over the years. You won’t believe how that place looks on the inside!
As you can clearly see from this picture, Miguel has done his best to make the sewer feel more comfortable and to look like a home. They have a TV and even a stove! Although, this place sure is not for people who suffer from claustrophobia.
15. Humble Abode
As you would expect, the sewer is small. Miguel and Maria’s “home” is 65 square feet and only 4.5 feet high. This means that the two can never stand or walk upright while inside. Let’s see what commodities Miguel installed there.
14. Hot Climate
Colombia is known for a having a hot climate and this makes the temperature unbearable beneath the streets. Afternoons are so hot in Medellin that people can’t even walk barefoot on the sidewalks. How do you think Miguel solved this issue?
13. Cooling Fan
If you look on the far left side of the picture you will be able to see that Miguel bought a cooling fan for the sewer. This is one of their most prized possessions and they wouldn’t be able to sleep without it, but that’s not all that Miguel installed in the sewer!
Nearly every house has a TV and Miguel wanted his house to be the same and fortunately for him, one day he struck gold when he found an old TV set on the streets. This was a godsend because it’s their only source of entertainment. Sadly, things get a little bit tricky when it comes to hygiene.
11. Personal Hygiene
The biggest issue that the couple has is that they don’t have a shower. The only way for them to wash is to use buckets and get rainwater. Talking about rainwater, their lives are always put in danger when the rain starts pouring down…
10. Dealing with Rain
While you might think that dealing with rain is a good thing because it cools the streets, it’s actually a life-threatening scenario for Miguel and Maria because they can’t stop it from pouring into their home. They cover the hole with cardboards, but that’s just not enough.
9. Staying Together
Even though the sewer is not that comfortable, Miguel says that the only thing that matters to him is that he and his wife stay together. The dog also brings joy to their life. If you thought that living in the sewers is heartbreaking, then you are not ready for what’s coming next.
8. Winter Holidays
The winter holidays are a special time of the year where people meet with their families and have a good time together. Miguel and his wife love that period of the year because people are good and give them gifts. The heartbreaking part about this is how Miguel and Maria celebrate Christmas. Scroll down and you’ll see what I am talking about.
Miguel loves to set up his Christmas tree right next to the entrance to the sewer. This way, he hopes people will see him and maybe give him a little bit of help. How do you think his neighbors treat him?
6. Good Neighbors
Miguel is lucky to have some of the most amazing neighbors ever. They usually help Miguel and Maria with food, water and sometimes even clothes. To make things even worse, Miguel is not able to work because of a serious health problem.
5. Former Drug Addict
Being a former drug addict took a toll on Miguel’s health. He contracted a serious lung disease while he was a drug addict and he isn’t able to work anymore. Therefore, getting money is a rare thing for him. You will be shocked to hear what Miguel thinks about his house.
4. Miguel Doesn’t Want to Leave
“I don’t want to change this for a house because if I go from here, I would have many duties like paying taxes, the rent, tickets to get food”, said Miguel when asked if he would ever leave the sewer. However, there are some days where Miguel manages to make some money. Check out the next picture to see how Miguel makes his living.
3. Helping People Park
There is a parking lot next to the sewer and that’s where Miguel spends most of his time. He likes to help people park by giving them indications and he sometimes gets money in return. But this is not a stable job by any means, and there are days when they starve.
“Some days we have food and others we lack food, but one gets accustomed to it” explained Miguel when asked about how he finds food. As if living in a sewer wasn’t worse enough, Miguel and Maria still have to face problems like starving.
1. Piece of Wisdom
Miguel hopes that the least he could do is to be an example for young people and what can happen to them if they make bad decisions. Even though life is hard for them, at least Miguel and Maria have each other. And their puppy!