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WHEN THE SQUAT BEGAN, THERE WAS NO RUNNING WATER IN THE BUILDING, NO ELECTRICTY, NO HEAT. BUT THERE WAS A GOOD MENTALITY OF WE CAN DO IT OURSELVES, WORKING ALL TOGETHER.

Born to parents of Puerto Rican, Taino, Cuban and African descent, Isabel was raised in the projects on 137th St. and Cypress Avenue. Moving to Coney Island she gave birth to her daughter Rosario, at age 17. She married Greg Dawson at age 18. "Greg loved and raised Rosario as his own daughter." At age 22 she gave birth to her son Clay, and at 26, Isabel and Greg became squatters on the Lower East Side with their two small children. There, Isabel learned many skills, including plumbing and electrical.

After 25 years of a tumultuous marriage, Greg and Isabel divorced. Finally using her singing talents, Isabel recorded a demo, featuring her own original songs. Isabel has succeeded in having two of her original songs included in the soundtrack of two independent films: Kiss me Again, 2006 and Descent, 2007.

Now 45 Isabel Celeste (she no longer uses the name Dawson) lives in the Dominican Republic, where she is writing, singing and living a tropical lifestyle. President of her own company, Mosaic Talent Marketing, Isabel works with profit and non-profit organizations, like Voto-Latino, co-founded by her daughter Rosario.

Isabel moved to the Dominican Republic in 2006, because "after the World Trade Center attacks, New York was not the same, I needed to enjoy this planet and I can do it better on a tropical island." Her ex-husband Greg still squats on the Lower East Side.



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Surla Films