The Portrait of a Border

I opted to take a traditional upfront and personal approach to street photography. It might seem simple, but it is not that easy to ask a complete stranger to be able to take their portrait.

The idea behind this concept is not to make a statement, but to value and respect the work of the Mexican people that work by the San Ysidro border. Day in and day out they are there, making a living, inhaling automobile exhaust and dusty streets. It is hard work that they do to cater to the daily working commuter or tourist that travels into the U.S.

These people also face adversity in the form of corruption, maybe violence, sometimes extortion and all just to survive by working an honest job. It is very interesting to listen to their stories when they want to share them. Others are simply just allowing me to take their image but quickly want me to move on.

Even though they endure corrupt municipal cops beating on them for cleaning cars to make a little change so they can eat and feed their family. While others sell candy all day long for a few pesos before they can go home, even though they are old and tired. Many have spent years and years trying to get passersby to purchase cheap Mexican curious, while they see Tijuana change around them. Others have to cope with paying a percentage or quota to the corrupt syndicate leaders or “cops”, just so they can make a buck. The most striking story however, was that of a person that recycled plastic bottles to maintain a heroin addiction while living in the street. That’s what happens there, every day.