“Artists of Life”
Produced by: Cris Ortega

Ulises and Christopher Aguacate Gonzalez are teenage brothers living by themselves in San Simon El Alto, Mexico. Ulises returns every day from high school, cleans the house, and sets down a large wooden sculpture. As his older brother returns from school, the two of them raise their hammers and chisels, and shape their sculptures for hours almost everyday.

Their grandmother cooks some of their food. If they do not sell woodcraft, they may go without eating for a day. Ulises’ parents are separated. They support him and his brother just enough to survive, as well as taxi fare to the town Malinalco for woodcraft workshops. Gary, Ulises’ woodcraft teacher, inspires him to care about the community around him; not just the art in front of him.

Ulises has to be a role model for his younger brother and work harder than his peers at school. He believes that if he can shape wood, then he will learn to shape his own life. Despite this, Ulises dreams of helping his community and someday supporting the parents that are not always there for him.

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