All over the country, and here in Southern California, there are many high income areas that thrive and tells us how some people live there.
Inside, Las Casitas feels chaotic, messy and unpredictable. But there are residents like Navia Ortiz who have found a haven there. Navia came to Newbury Park, Calif., from a rural village in Guatemala eighteen years ago. She used to rent a piece of floor in a living room in Las Casitas. Today, she is on the lease, pays $1,300 and rents to eight recently arrived immigrants. This past decade, her apartment has been the first step to 70 or 80 immigrants. She says it’s her life’s purpose to give recent arrivals a home during their first months and years in the U.S.
For decades Las Casitas has been stigmatized as the ‘bad’ neighborhood in the Thousand Oaks area. It had its share of tensions in the early 2000s, but in reality, it’s just an immigrant neighborhood. Most people in Las Casitas are from rural villages in Mexico and Central America. They come to the area to work.
As chaotic as it is from the inside, the outside stays picture perfect. America Yeresma Villanueva Nava tells us why. And former City Manager of Ventura, Rick Cole gives us some context.