Elaine Moreno—Photographer














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Mami y Papi

2019-Ongoing


Two years ago, my parents decided it was time to start on their retirement plan: returning back to Mexico. Growing up witnessing their lives, I came to realize that I had never truly seen or understood their struggles until recently. I’ve grown more curious as to why they wanted to go back to Mexico; what is missing here in America? Was this always their plan?

I couldn’t help wanting to look for answers.

Through conversations with my parents, I have a new perspective of what they went through as a young and newly married couple who migrated with their young children to San Francisco from Jalisco, Mexico.

In this intimate and emotional process, we are unpacking truths, secrets, and new things about each other as our time living together is coming to an end, accepting that their “American Dream” was to always return to their roots.


Mami y Papi is one story in a larger narrative occurring every day in a current climate of fear and xenophobia, and it is an invitation for other people with similar experiences as immigrants to share their stories. With this long term project, I plan to document my parents' lives inside and outside of our shared home in the Bay Area, as well as their move, and their new home in Mexico.