I first saw the village of Kotlik from the window of a small bush plane after an hour’s flight from the “hub town” of Bethel, over the tundra of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in southwest Alaska.
In February, Daphne Rotolo received some distressing news from a woman she was helping to find better housing. As a homeownership assistant with Housing Resources of Western Colorado, she’s seen and heard about many troublesome living situations. This was among the worst.
More than one million Californians lack access to safe drinking water, a startling statistic in a state with the fifth largest economy in the world. For these Californians-of which one in three is Hispanic and nearly half are adults diagnosed as pre-diabetic-the only alternatives to unsafe water are expensive bottled water or sugary drinks.
On a sunny fall day, Santos Obedoza approaches a fire hydrant on the Upper Lake Rancheria here in Northern California. With wrench in hand, he gingerly begins turning the hydrant’s lock and valve to open and flush them. In minutes, the water gushes across the road.
Two years ago, Consuelo Andrade was living in a village with her grandparents in Michoacán, Mexico, where she regularly saw neighbors and acquaintances returning from time spent working in the United States. They wore stylish clothes; some drove cars. She and others were mesmerized.