Protesters against inequality occupied vacant land in Brazil. Now they’re a mini-city of 8,000 families

SÃO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil — The first 500 arrived at sunrise. They trooped past the handful of homes on their left, up the dusty hill at the end of the street and through the single row of sparse trees to the vacant lot, plastic tarps folded under their arms and wooden posts in hand.

While some quickly mounted makeshift shacks in the calf-high grass, marking where they hoped their permanent homes would someday be built, others went in search of more families to join them — more families desperate for affordable housing.

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Text and photos by Jill Langlois

Originally published in the Los Angeles Times on December 4, 2017.