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The Central Americans

This is a work in progress by Edu Ponces and Salvadoran journalist Óscar Martínez to portray the Central American migrants who live in the most hidden places of the United States. Their lives, far from having reached the American dream, have developed in the midst of scarcity, persecution and labor exploitation. A life in the streets exposed to gang violence or forced recruitment, but also a life of resilience in a permanent search for improvement.

As of right now, two photo stories have been published. "Homeless Dream," about undocumented migrants who live in the streets of Los Angeles, was awarded first prize at POY LATAM 2017 in migration. "The Gloomy March from El Salvador to Long Island," is about young Central American refugees who arrived in Long Island to escape the violence in their home country and found themselves pressured by the rise of gangs in the U.S. in a morbid cycle of violence. 

by - Edu Ponces

El Salvador is the second country in the world with the highest rate of forced internal displacements caused by violence, only overcome by Syria.

Don Mario belongs to another generation of migrants. The gangs do not scare him: “I come from the war, I’ve seen dicks rolling in the street and women quartered."

Bill Brisotti, the priest, thinks the situation has worsened with Trump as president. “The fear makes people to not call the police when they see a violent act."

According to Carlos Argueta, social worker in a high school in Long Island, young migrants join the gangs because “we put them all together in a room with a lot of trauma and there they get the frustration out."

"I stay to sleep on the train. A lot of people do it. You can also go to Santa Mónica by bus. They come and go and sometimes they don't force you get off." 

Henry practically lives outdoors, with only an umbrella as a roof and some pieces of fabric as walls.

Nearly 26,000 homeless people live in the streets of Los Angeles, many of whom are undocumented immigrants.