A house underground: Couple has been living in sewer for 22 years

Miguel Restrepo and María García live in Medellín, Colombia. They met on the city streets, when they were both addicted to drugs and had nowhere to live. About to give up and let themselves die of hunger and cold, their encounter made them fight to overcome their addictions and try to have a better life. And where did they find refuge to start their new life together? In a sewer.

Today, 22 years after setting foot there for the first time, Miguel and María are still living in that sewer, which they found abandoned and unused, located in an industrial neighborhood of their city. And they have no intention of moving out, despite having received offers of more comfortable accommodation.


Their unusual home is a little under 65 square feet and there isn't enough room to stand up inside, as the height of the "ceiling" is only a little over 4 ft 6 in. But just because it's a small space, it doesn't mean it isn't well-used: Miguel and María have managed to fit in a closet, a bed and a small kitchen. They also have a fan that helps them to keep cool during the hot summer days, and a radio and a television to entertain themselves. They do not have a shower, but they wash using buckets of water.

Although they know that their house is quite different, Miguel and María are very happy living there with their dog Blackie. They have everything they need and they need very little. They even have a small garden next to the entrance to their particular home, where they have flowers and a Christmas tree. From time to time they decorate it and add a little bit of light to their garden.

The truth is that, though Maria and Miguel are satisfied with their life, there are days that are very difficult. The couple has long lived on charity from their neighbors, who have always been very kind  to them. Miguel had to leave his job working in recycling because of a lung disease. Although he gets some money by helping to park cars, he confesses that there are times when the couple have nothing to eat. 

But in spite of everything, Miguel says that he lives "better than the president." You can hear him talking about his life and showing his house and his garden in this video (in Spanish):

Without a doubt, Miguel’s and María’s life is not very comfortable, but thanks to their encounter on the streets and to their small refuge, they were able to change their lives. Because when you find someone who supports you and is with you on your way, everything else becomes less important.




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