Projects: EU Immigration II: El Ejido Hothouse
El Ejido is an agricultural center in Spain's southern region of Andalucia. The area is a vast sea of plastic hothouses that produce fruit and vegetables for export to the rest of the European Union. Southern Spain is also a major entry point for clandestine immigration into the EU. Thousands of poor North and sub-Sahara African immigrants, many of whom entered the country illegally, work as cheap itinerant labor in the hothouses. They live in ramshackle shantytowns with no sanitation or electricity scattered around the region. Despite contributing to the development and wealth of the region, racism is prevalent. When a mentally disturbed Moroccan man stabbed a Spanish girl, local residents rioted for three days, violently attacking the North African community.