Saying goodbye to Little Farm

The Little Farm Mobile Home Park has been home to hundreds of tenants during its 71 years in El Portal. Come July 31, they will be scattered across South Florida, their little community bulldozed to make room for a TBD development by a Chinese company. (Read our full story of the trailer park and its demolition here.)

People think of trailer parks as a place for transients. But as we got to know the residents, we realized this was anything but. The neighborhood had rituals, informal support systems and a true community. As residents gathered their belongings and prepared for eviction, we asked them what made Little Farm home.

Florencio Gallardo, tenant since 2011

“The neighborhood was perfect. Everyone got along well and we were basically a family. If we leave here, we’re going to have to go under a bridge, because we’re simply lost.

Elsa Cuevas, owner since 2001

“It’s a peaceful place. There wasn’t much delinquency. We lived a good life here. We have supermarkets close by that we can walk to because we don’t own cars. We had our own world apart where we would help each other with things… In any other part of the city, you’re not going to find that. That’s why I was so sad that they told us that we had to leave.”

Clairemis Blanc, owner since 2007

“Life changes, everything changes. Things were good here, but now, I’m catching hell looking for a place to live and I can’t find anything yet. Maybe I’ll go someplace and find a better life. But I don’t know yet. I would take care of people here. Sometimes I wouldn’t sleep patroling the neighborhood. That’s why they said I was the ‘Mayor of Little Farm’.”

Noel Rodriguez, tenant since 2014

“We lived happy here, apart from our needs. Before everything that happened, we lived, at least, in peace and harmony. But, after everything that has happened, I just feel anxious.”

Hector Ventura, tenant since 2001

“I’m trying to see if I can get some settlement money because once I leave here, I really have nowhere else to go. I used to work in the cafeteria over there. It’s been a normal life here. I do favors for everyone. I don’t care if they pay me or not.”