Small Guide to Homeownership is a selection from Cartagena’s Mexicana Suburbiaseries, which considers the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion. Although artists and activists alike have focused on the negative impact of urban sprawl since the 1960s, Cartagena's work is unique in its preoccupation with the largely overlooked, irrevocable effects of suburban expansion within a local ecosystem.
The work entitled The Carpoolers are a series of daylaborers carpooling along Monterrey's Highway 85 with a bird’s eye view over the trucks commuting to and from work. Cartagena captures images of laborers carpooling in the back of pickup trucks – in a variety of different forms and positions: hidden and outright, sleeping and awake, looking directly at the camera and looking away. The other works also revolve around the representation of the current Mexican suburban sprawl with a focus on the metropolitan area of Monterrey. The different aspects of this series propose alternate narratives, which depict a global issue from a local perspective.