Dear World,

At 14 years old, I moved from Mexico to New Orleans; a month before Katrina.


15 years later I’m experiencing another moment of cultural adaptation: social distancing because of quarantine. I feel again what solitude, fear and being vulnerable are in a situation that is extraordinary. I remember one time in Houston, during Katrina, my parents were contemplating whether to go back to Mexico or return to New Orleans. We were once again in a position of not knowing where to go. All the plans had changed; this feeling was familiar and scary. I remember my mother saying: “We already gave up so much to come here, let’s keep going.”

A month later the government allowed people to return to Nola, where we finally were able to start a life. Returning to a city recovering from a natural disaster was hard. We had no community or a shoulder to cry on. Yet as people returned to the city, everyone was happy to lend a hand to others or to even share food and supplies. And right now, in the midst of the Covid-19 emergency, it feels much the same.

Shortly after lockdowns, family and friends began to reach out and we started to have virtual hangouts. So far we’ve had drinks, cooked a recipe we all picked together, watched movies, meditated. I am beginning to realize the solidarity we all have, even though we are not seeing each other in person. In many ways I feel more bonded to people, and I know our love and support for each other will help us overcome this worldwide crisis. Everyday gets better, and I actually don’t feel so alone anymore. Talking to people online has helped me survive the day by day. A lot of plans have changed or been delayed; some may not happen anymore, and honestly I am okay with that now. This is temporary–once everything opens up I look forward to doing again all the things that I love: photographing people, crawfish boils, traveling, house parties, Mardi Gras, having friends over, meals at restaurants and so much more.

We are not alone and we will get through it, and I look forward to seeing you again.


Solitude Was Gone

Support this photographer:
Andres Ballesteros ︎ Venmo



Explore All Stories


contact us

learn more

Copyright © 2020 Dear World, Inc.