Portraits of a rural town in flux: Las Animas, unfiltered

August 7

A view of the water tower in Las Animas, Colo. It takes about five minutes to get through Las Animas in a car. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

People ride bikes down a street in Las Animas.
(Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Frank Martinez works in Las Animas, Colo., with with Chad LaBarge, right. As a young man he ended up in drug court, but was able to turn his life around. Now he works as a groundskeeper at the courthouse.
(Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Frank Martinez stands outside the Bent County Courthouse in Las Animas. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

After trimming, weeding and watering at one building, Frank Martinez prepares to head out to the next task of the day. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Frank Martinez works in Las Animas, Colo. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

A young couple hangs out in a park in Las Animas. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Holly Bryan and her 2 year-old daughter, Morgan, sit outside on the patio of their home. On the table are beers left out previously by her husband.
(Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Alex Guerrero, left, his younger brother, Juan Guerrero, right, and Cori Bond hang out for a few minutes in a park. They walked in a big loop through key parts of town and parks, hanging out and looking for friends. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

A sign painted on the side of a home in Las Animas. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

A view on a street in the downtown area of Las Animas. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

A view of a very recently closed gas station. It had a restaurant in it, that residents said they would miss. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)

Downtown Las Animas includes some stores that are closed and others that are still open. (Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post)
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Todd C. Frankel · August 6