By Christian Marquez, Searchlight NM
July 25, 2019

Over the last 40 years, downtown Albuquerque has become a checkerboard of residential, commercial and government properties – all occupying Census Tract 21.

There are Old World families who have lived here for generations and immigrant families who come and go. And then there’s Maria Theresa Rodriguez-Ronces, a spry 82-year-old landlord who immigrated from Acapulco in 1970, became a naturalized citizen in 1974, and bought her first property in 1976.

“My chance to buy here came because people wanted to live in the Northeast Heights, nobody wanted to live down here then,” she said, as she scattered seed on the sidewalk for a flock of resident pigeons. “One dollar a day, I started saving, five dollars a week. I saved $8,000, and that was the down payment on my house.”

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