Following the death of his maternal grandmother and caregiver, 9-year-old Carlitos begins the journey from southern Mexico to Los Angeles, California in search of his mother, Rosario. Along the journey, Carlitos is swindled by a coyote (a term used to describe a person who smuggles people into the United States), deported and forced to work illegally to pay for a bus ticket to Los Angeles.
Like the fictional character, Carlitos, depicted in the film Under the Same Moon, thousands of Latin American children have left their native countries in search of their relatives living in the United States. Motivated by better wages and a chance to provide their children with a better life thousands of immigrants risk their lives to make the perilous journey to the United States.
Until the recent crisis with the Border Children most people where unaware of the plight these children face when they’re left behind. They are at risk at being smuggled, abused or forced to engage in criminal activity as a means of survival. Due to their age, some children, like Carlitos, simply want to be reunited with their parents and do not understand the sacrifice that is being made.
In hopes of giving their children a better life both in Mexico and the United States, millions of Mexican nationals have left their homes in search of the American Dream. As of 2013, there are an estimated 11.4 million Mexican born immigrants living throughout the United States. Of those 11.4 million roughly 5.8 million (slightly more than half) are undocumented.
People of Mexican descent account for more than 1.1 of the 1.4 million Hispanics living in Chicago, according to a Pew Research Study.