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Living off the grid in Slab City

With the nation mired in high unemployment, a desert squatters’ camp in the Imperial Valley appears to be growing — and it’s turning into a community.

The Luciano family, nine members in all,  have taken up temporary residence at this former Marine base near the Salton Sea. Several hundred people — ranging from the free-spirited young, retired “snowbirds” from colder climes and the tight-money crowd of all ages — live in a ramshackle collection of tents, trailers, aging mobile homes and other ad-hoc dwellings.

There are no municipal services, no streetlights and no water or sewage services. But nobody charges rent or collects fees or tries to impose homeowner covenants. Slab City is out of sight and out of mind, just the way its residents like it.


STORY: Slab City, a trailer park utopia, thrives in remote desert


  1. January 4, 2012, 12:50 pm

    Beautiful family! And Kamaile is a brilliant little girl.

    By: Bill
  2. February 7, 2012, 4:25 pm

    Agreed…We will see a lot more of this…Gotta embrace the LOVE of these people….when it comes down to it …thats all we need….Beautiful Family…Thank You Rapha for your Inspiration and uplifting Spirit !!! Molly McC

  3. July 10, 2012, 9:21 am

    I know Raphael Luciano personally and he cares deeply for his family. I hope we can all somehow help him achieve his goals and dreams for his family


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