They Pick What You Eat: Orange County’s Last Farmworkers

They Pick What You Eat: Orange County’s Last Farmworkers

I started my immigrant photography project as a response to the negative statements made by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about Mexicans. I was so upset to hear him make such hateful comments that I wanted to do something about it.

Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico. I grew up working alongside many Mexican immigrants in our former family business, JC Fandango in Anaheim. Working in the hospitality industry at a young age gave me a unique perspective: They are often discriminated against, disrespected and very much underappreciated. So I started taking photos.

My original idea with this project was to send a political message without attacking anyone. I chose to take this approach to increase the reach of my message. I do believe this has worked, and I am happy to hear positive feedback from my photos and posts.

Then Charlottesville happened, followed by an anti-immigration rally in Laguna Beach. These hate groups made me realize that my project was even more important than I had first imagined.

My goal is to open some eyes. My hope is that when people see my photographs, they might be inspired to leave an extra-nice tip on their pillow for Guadalupe in housekeeping; say, "¡Gracias!" to Jose, who is cleaning their table or Felipe in the kitchen, making their food; or to simply smile at Graciela, who is sweeping the floors at John Wayne Airport. It's empathy—and the world could use more of it right now.

Click HERE for Castellanos' slideshow. For more of his work, follow him on Instagram: @bearinthepit.



I started my immigrant photography project as a response to the negative statements made by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about Mexicans. I was so upset to hear him make such hateful comments that I wanted to do something about it.

Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico. I grew up working alongside many Mexican immigrants in our former family business, JC Fandango in Anaheim. Working in the hospitality industry at a young age gave me a unique perspective: They are often discriminated against, disrespected and very much underappreciated. So I started taking photos.

My original idea with this project was to send a political message without attacking anyone. I chose to take this approach to increase the reach of my message. I do believe this has worked, and I am happy to hear positive feedback from my photos and posts.

Then Charlottesville happened, followed by an anti-immigration rally in Laguna Beach. These hate groups made me realize that my project was even more important than I had first imagined.

My goal is to open some eyes. My hope is that when people see my photographs, they might be inspired to leave an extra-nice tip on their pillow for Guadalupe in housekeeping; say, "¡Gracias!" to Jose, who is cleaning their table or Felipe in the kitchen, making their food; or to simply smile at Graciela, who is sweeping the floors at John Wayne Airport. It's empathy—and the world could use more of it right now.

Click HERE for Castellanos' slideshow. For more of his work, follow him on Instagram: @bearinthepit.


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