South Bronx

The South Bronx is famous for two reasons: it is home to the 15th Congressional District, the poorest district in the United States; and for its crime. What is it like to grow up in Mott Haven, ranked among the highest-risk communities for children? This project revolves around a group of four close friends living on 3rd Avenue. In the midst of a harsh environment, these boys have found belonging in one another. This bond is a cornerstone for them. They rely on each other when their families cannot afford to buy them food, they help each other get back from school, and they offer a second family of support and trust. The aim is to shed light on an area of New York that routinely receives negative attention, and to document the fragile world of youthfulness in the context of a community that is highly influenced by fear and violence.

This project follows the group of boys from their Freshmen to Senior year of high school.

Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Edwin Amaro stands in front of a neighbouring project building after school, 17 Feb 2016, Mott Haven, southern Bronx, NYC. Edwin and his friends live in neighbouring projects, but attend different schools. They have been friends since they were young, and still meet weekly.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon rests with his two cousins, Jeremy and Jerry Mateo, at their relative's, the Demoya's, house in the Bronx, 6 Feb 2016, New York City. The Leon's are from the Dominican Republic, but keep strong family connections in New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavier Leon, 26 Feb 2016, South Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Edwin Amaro and Chavier Leon play video games at their friend Juan's apartment in the Patterson Projects, 16 April 2016, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York. Juan is celebrating his 15th birthday, and they are waiting for the party to begin.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon plays guitar for Cole Jeffers while the rest of his friends play a video game, 17 Feb 2016, South Bronx, New York.
Interior of the Patterson Projects, South Bronx, New York.
An empty kitchen in the Leon's apartment, 17 Feb 2016, Patterson Projects, Mott Haven, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
The Leon's in their apartment kitchen, 22 April 2016, Mott Haven, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Christopher Oritz (2) calls for his mother across the hallway in the Neira's apartment, 13 Apr 2016, Mott Haven Houses, Mott Haven, New York. Christopher is autistic, and lives with his mom, grandma, and uncles at the Neira's.
Young students in the South Bronx, Mott Haven.
Chavi Leon and his neice, Jereline Rose Leon (2) at the Leon's apartment, 22 Apr 2016, Patterson houses, Mott Haven, New York. Jereline's father is living in the Dominican Republic, and Chavi's remaining family takes care of her often.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavier Leon vapes with his older brother in the living room of their apartment, 14 May 2016, Patterson Projects, Mott Haven, South Bronx.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon practices violin before a concert, directed by Professor Kim Cai, the High School of Violin and Dance, 12 May 2016, Lehman College, Bronx, New York. Following practice, the students will perform their year-end concert for the public.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Juan Neira, Chavi Leon, Marco Vasquez and Edwin Amaro running on an afternoon free of school, 10 Apr 2016, Mott Haven, Bronx. All four boys attend different schools but live on the same block.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Project buildings fill the sky in the South Bronx, 27 Mar 2016, Mott Haven, New York City. The Bronx is home to 89 developments with 44,423 apartments.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Edwin Amaro and Chavi Leon play while waiting for an escalator to bring them to the twentieth floor, 16 Apr 2016, Mott Haven Houses, New York.
Good Friday procession in the South Bronx, New York.
Residents from Mott Haven follow Saint Rita's church for a procession around the neighborhood in honor of Good Friday, 14 April 2017, South Bronx, New York. Around 75 percent of the residents of Mott Haven are Hispanic, most of whom closely follow the Catholic religion. For the Leon's and their neighborhood, the weekend before Easter is a sacred night that consists of an all-night vigil ending at five o’clock the following morning.
Good Friday procession in the South Bronx, New York.
Chavi Leon plays Barrabas in a Good Friday procession in his heighborhood of Mott Haven, in the South Bronx. 14 April 2017. Chavi and his family attend church at Saint Rita's and are part of the Neocatechumenate Way, a charism within the Catholic Church.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavier Leon, 15, a sophmore in high school, 6 February 2017, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Marco Vasquez, Willis Playground, 19 Feb 2016, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon with his friends in the apartment of his living room, 19 Feb 2016, Patterson Projects, southern Bronx, New York City.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon (14) with his younger cousin, 6 February 2016, Bronx, New York. The Leon's are from the Dominican Republic, and have a close relationship with their extended family, most of whom have resettled in the Bronx.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Juan Neira inside the living room of their apartment, 13 April 2016, Mott Haven, South Bronx.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Juan Neira's mother inside the living room of their apartment, 13 April 2016, Mott Haven, South Bronx.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
A NYPD van drives by in the reflection of stores along Third Avenue, 22 Apr 2016, Mott Haven, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
A polaroid from left to right of: Cole Jeffers, Juan Neira, Chavi Leon, Marco Vasquez, Jaylen Reid, and Edwin Amaro in front of the Patterson Projects, 17 Feb 2016, Mott Haven, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon (14) with a group of his close friends in front of their project building, 17 February 2016, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York. The friends attend separate schools but live in the same neighbourhood.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon, 14, talking with his neighbor and classmate after school, 14 April 2016, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon practices baseball, 13 Mar 2016, at Heritage Field, outside of Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi (14) with his older brother, Chanel, in the Bronx, 16 June 2016. Chanel was recently released from prison, and is on house arrest while Chavi visits his apartment.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon (15), a sophmore in high school, during spring break, 17 April 2017, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon, Marco Vasquez and Edwin Amaro sit outside of Marco's apartment in Mott Haven, 26 Feb 2016, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Cole Jeffers, 19 Feb 2016, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon and his family celebrate the 4th of July with their extended family at Crotona Park in the Bronx, New York. 4 July 2016.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon (15), a sophmore in high school, during spring break, 17 April 2017, Mott Haven, South Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Chavi Leon (15) celebrates after scoring a winning shot for his team at Willis Playground, 6 Feb 2017, Mott Haven, southern Bronx, New York.
Students in the south Bronx of the Mott Haven neighbourhood, New York City.
Edwin, Chavi, and Steven practice baseball in front of the Yankee Stadium, 26 March 2017, Bronx, New York. The friends meet weekly to practice at fields together.