This image is part of the ‘Ojos’ bi-weekly series. Ojos is a photo-letter that honors people, their merits, the environment and connects our human experience to community with the use of a camera—here in the Bay Area.
“It’s not true that we only come here to sell drugs — anything but,” Carlos said underneath the patch of shade on the sidewalk of Calle 24 in the Mission District. Carlos is a Honduran man who moved to the Bay Area less than one year ago. His shirt immediately caught my attention, beaming into the street, depicting two flags exemplifying a much larger and compelling tale about Latin American nations — it’s people who seek a better life, and the United States, where anti-immigration policies have often coincided with polarizing and news articles with stereotypical rhetoric. Many Latin Americans, like Carlos, embark on the treacherous trek to the U.S. with impenetrable hope, resilience, and ambition to work out of necessity. “My hope is to earn enough money to save, and to go back home to support my family — I know a lot of us didn’t come here to sell drugs, we came here because the economy back home forced us to seek something better.”