Imagine living in a home that has no running water, no bathroom, and is less than 100 square feet. Oh, and it’s underground too.
That’s exactly how Miguel Restrepo and his wife, Maria Garcia, have been living for 22 years. Believe it or not, this couple has made a home out of an abandoned sewer in Medellin, Colombia.
The couple met on the streets years ago when they both suffered from dug addictions. However, the two found strength in each other and managed to turn their life around… sort of.
Garcia and Restrepo both kicked their respective addictions and vowed to make a better life for themselves without the crutch of any drugs. And they finally both had someone that they could love, trust, and live their lives with. But they never left the streets.
The couple chose to make a home out of an abandoned sewer – the same place they found shelter when trying to kick their addictions so many years ago.
Their sewer home is only 65 square feet big. It’s also only 4 1/2 feet tall, which is not even big enough for the couple to stand upright in their own home. Yet, they make it work.
Despite its teeny, tiny size, Restrepo and Garcia somehow managed to fit a small cupboard, a bed, and a small burner stove. They also have a small light and a few obscure decorations in attempt to make the sewer feel like a real, cozy home. In the corner sits one small fan that the couple uses to cool down the tiny home, as it gets very hot in the warm Colombian climate.
The couple is set on entertainment, as they have a small TV and a radio. However, maintaining good hygiene is a completely different story because the abandoned sewer obviously has no running water. Instead of a shower, the pair has to use buckets of water to clean themselves.
They get in and out of their sewer home through a circular manhole in their “ceiling,” which is really the sidewalk in the industrial Colombian city. They also have to use plastic bags and cardboard to cover the hole when it rains, so that water doesn’t come rushing down into their home.
What sounds like a nightmare to any average homeowner is actually a happy home to this couple. Miguel Restrepo explains that he doesn’t want to leave his sewer, despite multiple offers from municipal officials to give the man a new home.
The 62-year-old Colombian man explains that he won’t leave his sewer home for a more appropriate home because he doesn’t want to have to pay rent and taxes.
Restrepo unfortunately had to leave his job as a public recycler. Now, he gets by on charity from his neighbors or from the money he makes helping to park cars in Medellin.
Most people would find themselves depressed in such living conditions, but this couple shows quite the opposite. They make the most out of their home and are determined to live well despite their circumstances.
The couple shares the space with their loyal dog. They’ve even cultivated a little garden near the entrance to their home, complete with flowers and a Christmas tree for the holiday season. It’s a tiny piece of happiness next to a tiny home.
Miguel Restrepo says that he really is living well. “You have to sow in order to reap,” he explains. “If one conducts oneself well, his life is good. If one conducts oneself bad, his life is bad.”
Watch the video of Miguel Restrepo and Maria Garcia’s sewer home below.