Kanye West was inspired by Pablos (specifically Pablo Picasso, Pablo Escobar, and Paul from the Bible) for his latest album. But for photographer Sofía Muñoz Boullosa, Pedros sparked her creativity. One day while in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, bodega owner Pedro Cruz asked her to take his picture. When the blonde photographer responded in Spanish, she surprised Cruz. However, the two ended up discussing family and living in NYC. Something about their interaction got her thinking about her native Mexico, and the popularity of the name Pedro in their culture.
So she set out to photograph Mexican men with this name for her thesis project at the International Center of Photography, which happened to fit within the immigration subject she had already chosen. According to the Washington Post, she began looking for Pedros online. That’s how she found Pedro, the ballet dancer. But she moved her search offline, too. She went to Latino neighborhoods and asked people if they knew someone named Pedro.
Since meeting Pedro Cruz, more Pedros have invited her into their lives. “They were eager to show how they are working and trying to make a better life,” she said. “I think, like me, they want to stand up for Mexico. Some are them are far from making their goals, but almost all of them absolutely know what they want to be.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign has emboldened some to act out against immigrants and Latinos. At a time when Trump has painted Latinos with a broad brush, Muñoz’s images are a reminder that there’s no one way to be Pedro. Check out five Pedros below:
[H/T Washington Post]
Pedro Cruz is a beneficiary of Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty bill. He works in a bodega in Sunset Park. His son is a police offer, and his daughter is a social worker. “Mexicans are not what Donald Trump says,” Cruz said. “We are workers. As long as it is work, we do whatever it takes.”
Pedro Rodrigo González
24-year-old Pedro Rodrigo González moved to the city in 2011 as a member of the American Ballet Theater. “When I think of Mexico, political issues come to mind inevitably, although I do not like talking about them.”
34-year-old Pedro Ramírez worked at Casa Mezcal. He has six siblings, and is working to become a boxing trainer. In 2011, he returned to Puebla, Mexico to take care of his diabetic mother. “We come here to support our families and to work towards a better life,” he said.
Pedro Guillermo Curiel
Pedro Guillermo Curiel has worked at a NYC deli for 11 years. On Sundays, he plays soccer in Flushing.
Pedro Ceñal Murga
28-year-old Pedro Ceñal Murga earned his master’s degree in architecture and is currently working in NYC. He plans to return to Mexico one day to start his own business.
Check out more pictures on her website.