Story

Winny Contreras: The Long Commute

180711_tierrablanca_vistas_lunch_parents186.jpg

Winny Contreras sits with his mother, Cecilia Galvan, in his childhood home. He points to an old photo of his father who also worked on farms in the United States. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Winny Contreras sits with his mother, Cecilia Galvan, in his childhood home. He points to an old photo of his father who also worked on farms in the United States. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180506_winny_contreras03.jpg

Winny Contreras poses for a portrait in front of the farmland he's spent 24 years cultivating in Connecticut. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. United States, 2018.

Winny Contreras poses for a portrait in front of the farmland he's spent 24 years cultivating in Connecticut. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. United States, 2018.

180711_tierrablanca_vistas_lunch_parents149.jpg

Ricardo, Winny Contreras' son, watches creatures swirl about in a small pond on a mountain overlooking their village in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Ricardo, Winny Contreras' son, watches creatures swirl about in a small pond on a mountain overlooking their village in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180711_tierrablanca_vistas_lunch_parents158.jpg

A group of boys, mostly relatives of the Contreras' family, play and watch a small snake swim in a pond on a mountain overlooking their village in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

A group of boys, mostly relatives of the Contreras' family, play and watch a small snake swim in a pond on a mountain overlooking their village in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180711_tierrablanca_vistas_lunch_parents181.jpg

Humberto Contreras Zuñiga, Winny Contreras's father, sits in his home in Mexico next to a photo from his wedding day. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Humberto Contreras Zuñiga, Winny Contreras's father, sits in his home in Mexico next to a photo from his wedding day. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180711_tierrablanca_vistas_lunch_parents191.jpg

The rolling hills and desert are speckled with cacti on a mountain overlooking Winny Contreras's home in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

The rolling hills and desert are speckled with cacti on a mountain overlooking Winny Contreras's home in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180714_graduation_party001.jpg

Winny Contreras laughs with his son Ricardo as a mariachi band plays at his eldest daughter's graduation party in their home in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Winny Contreras laughs with his son Ricardo as a mariachi band plays at his eldest daughter's graduation party in their home in Mexico. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180714_graduation_party119.jpg

Winny Contreras and his daughter Mayra thank the farm owner, Sandi Rose, who employs Winny in the United States, for making his daughter's graduation from architecture school a reality. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Winny Contreras and his daughter Mayra thank the farm owner, Sandi Rose, who employs Winny in the United States, for making his daughter's graduation from architecture school a reality. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

180714_graduation_party133.jpg

Winny Contreras with his family in Mexico at his oldest child's graduation party from architecture school. Winny spends two months in Mexico and 10 months in the United States working on a farm so he can provide for his family and fund his children's education. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Winny Contreras with his family in Mexico at his oldest child's graduation party from architecture school. Winny spends two months in Mexico and 10 months in the United States working on a farm so he can provide for his family and fund his children's education. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018. 

maricela_restaurant_011.jpg

Maricela Gudiño Hernandez stands in front of a shrine honoring her son Carlos who died crossing the border to commute to the farm where he worked in the United States. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Maricela Gudiño Hernandez stands in front of a shrine honoring her son Carlos who died crossing the border to commute to the farm where he worked in the United States. Image by Ingrid Holmquist. Mexico, 2018.

Winny Contreras has lived and worked on the same farm in Connecticut for the last 24 years with men who are from his hometown in Guanajuato, Mexico. Before him, his father also crossed the border to find work, and people in the town continue to leave their homes to support their families. As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests at the border increase, workers who are undocumented have resorted to staying at the farm for years without going home to see their families. Winny has missed major moments in his children’s lives in exchange for providing them a future so that they won’t have to make the same sacrifice. Guanajuato Norte is an intimate portrayal of what it looks like on the other side of that sacrifice: the families left behind as their loved ones help them achieve their dreams.