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For the Love of Family #2

by Tonia J. Leon
with photography by Barry Weiser
Huntington, New York

Photo by Barry Weiser.
Photo by Barry Weiser. ©1968.

It is Monday morning. On the side of a dusty street in Mexico, she sits like a blooming wild flower lovingly holding her little brother in her lap.

Like any other eleven year old she lives half in this world and half in dreamland.
She is no truant from school: school is as distant a fantasy as the handsome,
fair skinned young man who would save her and her family from the life of
the working poor.

For the usual six dollars a week, her mother works twelve hours a day in a blue jeans factory; her dad, a master carpenter waits every morning on the corner of the city plaza along with bricklayers, plumbers and electricians for contractors who will give them work for the day. They work for small business owners and manufacturers and people with small and big homes. Everyone knows were to find a good, honest and hardworking journeyman.

Then the NAFTA accords are signed; slowly the small businesses sink, unable to compete
with the mega-industries which invade Mexico. Life had been hard; now it becomes impossible;
Is it then surprising that twenty years later that once heavy-eyed two year old could be found daily standing on a corner hoping desperately for work as a carpenter? Not in Mexico, but now in Huntington Station on Long Island, New York, USA.

Published in In Motion Magazine December 4, 2007

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