Nueva Orleans

Stuffed into a crammed New Orleans clapboard house is a crew of Central American migrants. Seven days a week, they paint and tile fetid homes drowned by Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005. Rubén, from a village in rural Guatemala, works illegally to support his wife and children back home. It’s a daily grind with effects ranging from solitude and isolation to drunken brawls and prostitutes.
Like many immigrants, Rubén leads a life detached from his adopted city. While New Orleans roasts up an array of parades and festivals, the Latino laborers are stuck in a precarious space. Rubén and the other estimated 130,000 Latino migrants are rebuilding the city, yet their very presence risks eroding the “old New Orleans” they are hired to resurrect. They must play the dual role of both saviors and destroyers.
What does it mean to be an immigrant in a place scrambling to forge a new identity? What are the consequences when immigrants are unable to secure solid footing within a society’s social fabric? Nueva Orleans examines these questions as America’s most unique city braces for the future.