Work details
Application Number 0000801724
Author Salvador, Antonio Jose, Denmark
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Work title: Remitting Landscapes (0000801724)

In 2000 Ecuador went under a severe economic crisis. Two of the largest impacts were the dollarization of the economy and the illegal transnational migration to the United States, Spain and Italy. The remittances from the migrants to their families in Ecuador constitute the second largest income for the country, just after oil industry revenues. A demographical impact from the migration is the diminishing adult population of the agricultural province of Canar. A geographical impact of the remittances is evident in the two-three storey houses that sit on the fertile landscape of the Andes. The migrants have paid these houses from earnings in jobs primarily reserved for illegal aliens. The architecture of these houses resembles the US and European suburban homes. These out of scale structures have challenged the way in which we measure these agricultural landscapes. It''s an attempt to redesign the environment they left and a reflection of the environment they wish to recreate, an environment they cannot afford in their fugitive state. This very state limits their spending ability and forces them to search for precarious and overcrowded living conditions which enables them to commit to substantial monthly remittance for their families and for building a negated dream. This condition has been an issue of debate both in Ecuador and abroad. Ecuadorian developers and banks are targeting the group of migrants as potential buyers of housing developments in the major urban centers of Ecuador. Financing institutions loan the illegal migrants the money for financing homes. The migrants no longer attempt at returning to the rural origins and are now attempting at migrating back to the major cities. These mortgages have a great impact on their families as the remittances are now replaced by monthly financing plans. The role of the remittances sent by illegal migrants has been shaping not only the rural landscapes of Ecuador but is now defining the edges of the major cities as they actively grow in numbers. For now, these structures sit abandoned awaiting their owner''s own will to return or their highly feared deportation.