A personal project: Tucked away on the Rio Grande, the colonia of Candelaria is as remote as you can get in Texas. At the end of the road in a vast, harsh region, it is so unpopulated and untouched by the 21st century that electricity and running water were not guaranteed until recently, though sometimes not available even now.
Dr. Jim Luecke, a general practitioner who saw a small community in need of healthcare, drives 2-3 hours to Candelaria with a small team one Saturday every month to give residents the best possible care free of charge. Often they will serve more than 40 people who would otherwise never see a physician.
These images depict the character and the pride of those striving to survive here – a place that is not quite Mexico and assuredly not what one would expect to exist in the United States. Though poverty, isolation and immigration status are all issues here, Candelaria is a tight knit community of families where taking care of each other comes before all-else.
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