The Dark


I took these photos starting in 2014 as part of an ongoing project about the factors that push Central Americans to flee their countries. I found extreme violence, government absence, corruption, climate change and poverty. I learned that people leave for one reason, or all the reasons at once.

This story was featured in The New York Times.

El Salvador – Guatemala – Honduras – Mexico

Relatives and friends of Sgt. Pablo Cándido Vega at the cemetery in Panchimalco, El Salvador, in April 2015.

A police officer guards the Guatemalan Parliament during a protest against government corruption in Guatemala City, September 2017

The funeral of Sgt. Pablo Cándido Vega in Panchimalco, El Salvador, April 2015.

A protest against government corruption in Guatemala City, September 2017.

Central American migrants cross the Suchiate River between Guatemala and Mexico, October 2018.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent shines a light on Honduran migrants who were trying to cross the border from Mexico in November 2018

Cutting sugarcane in Aguilares, El Salvador, March 2015.

El Faraon, a member of the 18th Street gang, after being shot by another gang member. He died in a hospital eight hours later. La Paz, El Salvador, September 2014.

Central American migrants in a truck on its way to Tecún Umán, Guatemala, which borders the Mexican state of Chiapas, in October 2018.

A Honduran child plays near train tracks in Arriaga, Chiapas, in southern Mexico, October 2018.

Alan García reveals a bullet scar on his back in July 2017. He was shot by the military during a protest against a hydroelectric project in Rió Blanco, Intibuca, Honduras, in 2013.

Demonstrators make gasoline bombs while protesting the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernández in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, December 2017.

Central American migrants in Oaxaca, México, on a trailer heading to the United States, October 2018.

Members of the migrant caravan in a shelter in Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico, October 2018

A river in San José, La Paz, Honduras, was diverted to a hydroelectric plant, leaving the surrounding communities without water.

Nicole Cruz and David García look to the American side of the border with their 2-year-old son, Mateo, in Tijuana, Mexico, in November 2018. They fled Honduras because of threats from the 18th Street gang.