Para mis abuelitos Ysabel y Glafira Madrid.
Gracias por su sacrificio y ejemplo.
...and for Grandpa Jay Sandberg.
Thank you for inspiring me with your camera.
My Mexican grandfather of Apache bloodline, Ysabel Madrid, immigrated to Palos Verdes, California in 1923 where he worked as a gardener, miner and mason worker to name just a few of his trades.
Isabel's great American Dream was realized in this land of opportunity, enabling him and his wife, Glafira Estrada, to purchase a home and raise a family in the area.
92 years after Ysabel arrived in Palos Verdes, immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America continue to make similar journeys to arrive in this land.
Green Sticks is a photo journal essay chronicling the stories and portraits of those immigrants who have made this journey in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
These are those people.
Hear Their Stories.
Enrique, Fancisco "Poncho" Martinez, and Uriel Lopez - Painters - Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Hailing from the mountains of Guatemala, Uriel Lopez is a man of few words. These words he saves to express himself in the poems he writes. He often works 7 days a week and sends money home to his 3 daughters living in Guatemala. His paint crew consists of many students from his hometown that he has mentored over the years.
Poncho walked across the Arizona desert for 3 days with nothing but water. While he felt happy to find a new life of opportunity, he was sad to leave his family behind.
...Four years later Poncho made the same arduous journey.
All three friends took the same journey separated by over 30 years aboard the infamous bus, 'El Condor' from El Salvador to Guatemala. The road through Mexico to Texas was guided by a hired 'Coyote.' The three fellow countrymen say they have found a better life in America and enjoy their opportunities for work and education.
Cirilo Martinez (38) and his uncle Jesus Martinez (67) immigrated from Guerrero, Mexico in the spring of 2000 hungry to work and prosper. Within the week Cirilo was working alongside his uncle Jesus and two more of his uncles whom were already living and working for a small landscaping company.
He enjoys working alongside his family and is most proud of his wife and 2 young daughters.
Pablo Sr. was born and raised in Durango, Mexico. Born in the United States, Pablo 'Junior' is now 12 years old and works alongside his father during summer break when he is not attending school. Pablo Sr. is a proud of his son's work ethic and commitment to education.
Por La Razon o La Fuerza.
...to be continued.