Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

At dawn, Luis Luna waits outside the warehouse where he works. His minimum wage job barely pays his rent, but it provides some stability in a country where he is locked out of most job opportunities.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna works in a used clothing warehouse in the neighborhood where he sold chocolates as a child. The owner remembered him and gave him a job.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna trades text messages to set up a basketball game after work. The cellphone was given to him by a friend after he returned penniless to Southern California.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna, right, and his close friend Julio Cortez shoot baskets at a school in South Gate, a suburb of Los Angeles. Cortez was one of several U.S.-born friends who helped Luna when he was living on the streets of Mexico.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna lives in this converted two-car garage. Comparing the studio apartment to his homeless months in Mexico. he said: "I don't have to sleep in the streets no more. I can actually close my eyes and sleep until I wake up knowing that I'm going to be alive."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna spent his childhood walking the streets of Los Angeles selling chocolates. Brought from Mexico by his mother when he was 3, he says the U.S. is the only country he knows. "I feel like an American," he says.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna takes a placement exam in an effort to earn his high school diploma. He was deported before he could graduate from high school.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Luis Luna talks to students at South Junior High School in Anaheim about his harrowing attempts to cross the Arizona desert and return home. "They told me I was ready to die. I couldn't breath. I had a blank stare. The coyote said, 'I've seen this before, he's not going to make it .' "

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Return to Southern California

Bob Seger concerts at the Forum

Los Angeles Times staff photographers covered three Bob Seger concerts at the Forum in Inglewood. Larry Armstrong photographed the June 15, 1978, performance. Iris Schneider was...   View Post»

   

Behind the curtain at Lacha VaVoom

Behind the curtain at Lucha VaVoom

These guys don’t need Halloween.  At Lucha VaVoom, Halloween is redundant, as they feature a crazy stew of exotic dancers, luchadors and mini zombie dancers. Set in the...   View Post»

   

Return to Southern California

Pictures in the News | August 9, 2013

Friday's Pictures in the News begins in the desert of Southern California, where the fast-moving Silver fire has now consumed 16,000 acres and is only 25% contained.   View Post»

   

The 70th Golden Globe Awards | January 13, 2013

The 70th Golden Globe Awards | January 13, 2013

It was a very special evening in Beverly Hills at the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s Golden Globe Awards. Framework presents a glimpse of the energy, the excitement, the...   View Post»

Return to Southern California

Luis Luna returned to his hometown of South Gate in May. His arms and legs were scraped raw from cactus needles and his eyes kept blinking, still starved of moisture from his eight-day journey through the Arizona desert the week before. Read Story

3 Comments

  1. December 27, 2012, 6:28 am

    That's too bad Luis but a lot of folks are waiting. Get in line!

    By: guest@roadrunner.com
  2. January 3, 2013, 10:53 pm

    It was a great but risky journey… I wish to learn abour Luis .. is he well now?

  3. August 7, 2013, 9:39 am

    Great advice, Guest. Coincidentally, what's the longest you've ever waited for a place to sleep that wasn't the street?

    By: Brian

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published