Among the cranes that break the Atlanta skyline, among high-budget developers in Georgia, and among the exotic murals that push an unprecedented boom in local construction despite the pandemic, is a group of Mexicans who day by day leave this small town. town located on the slopes of the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro.
This migratory profile focuses on the placement of air conditioning in houses and apartments; in offices, shopping centers and all kinds of buildings that call them because they will be there: they control the temperatures of Atlanta’s interiors.
Mounted on top of an attic frame, Israel Nieto, 25, already has a team of four Mexicans, all from Villa Vista del Río. Most real estate developers rely on Mexicans for air conditioning tasks. They call them because they like their work and, over time, they have made a name for themselves.
“It is not an easy job: the heat here can reach 50 degrees or more, between the roof and the house, but here we are,” Israel Nieto emphasized in a telephone interview.
Emigrants know that the one who led the way was a certain “Pelayo” about a decade ago, just when the real estate “boom” began that the tour guide Steve Saenz defines as “unprecedented” since 1837 when the city was founded on the side of the railroad that gave birth to Terminus, predecessor of Atlanta.
The increase in real estate construction, he points out, is the result of a gap between supply and demand that is sustained despite the coronavirus because, in the midst of the pandemic, people flee from large cities.
Before the pandemic, real estate companies observed two types of clients in big cities like New York: those who wanted to move one day and those who arrived but, in recent times, most want to leave.
A survey conducted in early May by PropertyNest, a real estate listing site, indicated that nearly a million people were considering less crowded locations. In that way, Atlanta became more attractive.
The truth is that, with the passage of time, the city was transformed, details Steve Saez. It is more open and moves away from the provincial image of a closed society.
“As the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta enjoys a special place in the hearts and minds of people who value diversity and equality,” he says. “Today, Atlanta is becoming more culturally diverse and competing for talent in an increasingly global economy that attracts new people and those residents need a place to live.”
They also need an ideal temperature. Israel Nieto recognizes that now he has so much work that the days extend up to 10 or 12 hours a day, from Monday to Saturday, without stopping.
He works as a subcontractor, he is in charge of people who move according to demand. In total there are four. All from Bella Vista del Río. His uncles, nephews, cousins and relatives are also in their business. “There are about 15 of the family who work on air conditioning, but there are about 20 or 30 crews of various workers.”