In the early 2000s, Yunuen Bonaparte and her family had no choice but to leave Mexico for the United States. “There were times when we had to eat — how do you say it — old tortillas, like they get hard,” she said. “You just had to like warm them up, like eating tostadas and my mom would have a garden in the backyard, because there was times that there wasn’t enough for us to have meals,” she said of trying to survive in her home country.
Bonaparte arrived in Los Angeles when she was 12 and grappled with the trauma and hardship of living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Becoming a DACA recipient enabled her to get an education and now she’s a photojournalist who recently exhibited a series of photos about other Dreamers and their stories.
Bonaparte talks with Erica Mu for the Alhambra Source’s inaugural podcast about her immigration journey, paying her way through school, the untold stories of undocumented immigration and what others can do to help. Listen along, and let us know what you would like to see in future installments of the Alhambra Source podcast!
Crossing the border 2:00
Mental health effects 13:33
Getting DACA 20:04
The photo exhibit 24:16
Resources for DACA recipients and those who want to help:
ICE out of LA
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
This episode was produced by Dominic Tovar and Phoenix Tso. Music by Ralph Chavez.
Facilitated by Erica Mu. Special thanks to the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the American Hungarian Baptist Church for your support.