Roatan, New Mexico, is a place with lots of historical and cultural significance, but one that has struggled to make ends meet.
The city has a long and painful history of drug cartels and crime, but it has also struggled to find affordable housing and become a viable place for the middle class.
In the past, many of the people who moved there were women and children.
Now, more than 30 years later, many are looking to Roanat as a place where they can live a better life.
“We are living in the 21st century, but we have not reached the 1970s yet,” says Roatan resident and business owner Maria T. Algar.
“I believe in the American Dream and I know that this is the right place for us.”
Algar has lived in Roatan for four decades.
She’s lived there since 1992 and says the city has changed dramatically since then.
The population has skyrocketed since then, she says, with more people moving to the area.
“We are seeing a big influx of new people coming here from other places,” she says.
“But the main change is the crime.”
Algars husband, Peter Algar, is now the president of the Algar family business, Algar Real Estate Group.
He says he believes in creating opportunities for his family to live in a place that is safe, affordable, and safe to work in.
“It is really important to me that we have a positive image for Roanati,” he says.
Algars family is one of the biggest in the city.
He and his wife, Maria, have three children and seven grandchildren.
He also owns his own restaurant.
His business has been in the Roanatan area for years and now employs more than 200 people.
Al Gar has a lot to be proud of in his own life and says he’s proud of the fact that Roatan has the lowest unemployment rate in the state of New Mexico.
“If you look at unemployment, it’s around 2.5 percent,” he said.
“There is a lot of people here that are doing great jobs and that is what we have to be thankful for.
It’s a tough place to be but I’m proud to be a part of that.”
What’s more, Al Gar says Roanatin is one place in the country where he’s seen a huge turnaround in the quality of life.
He credits his family for being able to move to a different city when it’s time to make a change.
“For us, Roanato was just like moving from New York to Los Angeles.
We were just like ‘Oh, this is what you’re doing.’
We were ready to do it.
It was just another option,” Algar says.
In Roatan the people are looking for something different and Algar is hoping that the city can find a way to keep it that way.
“People want a better quality of lives, but they don’t want to live at home,” he explains.
“That’s what makes us unique in Roanatra and that’s why I believe we can be successful.”