A selection of published news features.
(Click each headline to read the full story.)
The Hunted: Pedro Salmeron Was Deported From North Carolina in 2016. We Went to El Salvador to See What His Life’s Like Now.
INDY Week, Feb. 28, 2018
Each year, at least 20,000 migrants vanish and presumably die on the journey to the United States. Pedro Salmeron was among those who made it, fleeing gang violence in El Salvador to join his parents in North Carolina. But just three years later, the teenager was deported back to one of the most violent countries in the world. (Reporting for this story was supported by the International Women's Media Foundation.)
Salvadoran Women Imprisoned for Abortion Speak Out Against Their Country's Draconian Laws
Jezebel, May 2, 2018
A stillbirth, miscarriage, or loss of the fetus is still considered an abortion under Salvadoran federal law. The maximum sentence for an abortion conviction is 12 years in prison, but many women face a charge of aggravated homicide, which carries a sentence that ranges from 30 to 40 years. “In jail, the other women would say, ‘You killed your baby.’ You are treated like a dog.” (Reporting for this story was supported by the International Women's Media Foundation.)
Home of the Brave: A Teen's Detention Sparked a Community Into Action, But He’s Still Not Free
INDY Week, March 22, 2017
Wildin Acosta's deportation case sparked urgency in this progressive community he'd called home for three years, marked by confusion about how a teenager who fit so neatly into the American obsession with meritocracy would be treated like a delinquent.
#Caravana 43 in North Carolina: How the Ayotzinapa case is sparking a movement in the South
Guernica Magazine, May 27, 2015
Mexican immigrants swim in limbo between two countries, in a sea of parallels. They are tired of the politics entangling the lives of the most vulnerable on both sides of the border. These voices are indicative of a changing South and a civil rights movement not yet laid to rest.
(Text & audio by Victoria Bouloubasis. Video & editing by Andrea Patiño Contreras. Original version debuted as a series of Instagram essays.)
Dead or imprisoned for having an abortion: fighting El Salvador's brutal laws (video)
The Guardian, Oct. 25, 2017
El Salvador is on the brink of change as citizens and policy makers challenge the draconian abortion law. (Monica Wise and I shot this footage for The Guardian while on our IWMF reporting fellowship.)
Lost and Found: A Safe Space for the Triangle’s Growing Transgender Latina Population
INDY Week, Sept. 21, 2016
For uninsured immigrants, the majority of whom lack legal status, a medical transition hasn't always been so simple—or safe. Medical care for transgender immigrants is a recent phenomenon in the South.
Slave Wages: The Durham Jail Classifies Inmate Kitchen Workers as Volunteers
INDY Week, Sept. 14, 2016
Unlike in state prisons, where the average inmate's daily wage hovers around $4.73, the workers in the county jail do not manufacture any material goods and don't receive any remuneration.
Twelve-year-old tobacco farmers: the hidden battle against US child labor
The Guardian, May 15, 2014
Brazil and India have banned child labor in their tobacco fields, but the Human Rights Watch reports that children as young as 12 are doing dangerous work in American fields.
Be Our Guest Worker
The American Prospect, Nov. 7, 2013
A look at the uncertain existence of the legal migrant farmworkers that the agricultural industry relies on for cheap labor.
INDY Week, May 16, 2012
3rd place Multimedia Award - 2012 Association of Food Journalists
Karen refugees rebuild their lives on a farm in North Carolina, while simultaneously learning how to hold an American hamburger.
(Text by Victoria Bouloubasis. Photos by D.L. Anderson.)
INDY Week, Oct. 30, 2013
"There's a twinge in your gut saying, 'I'm still not worthy.' The only way to survive [in prison] is to shut your emotions off. You come home and you're dead inside." Benevolence Farm is connecting female ex-convicts with the land.
Report details plight of North Carolina's tobacco workers
INDY Week, Nov. 9, 2011
A stagnant breeze on a humid July evening in Wilson County nudges plush rows of tobacco leaves. Farmworkers who squat and bend to pick those leaves in the peak of summer heat sit wearily on makeshift stoops. They live in units made of concrete and covered in peeling paint. From afar, these homes can be mistaken for animal stables.
Who's picking your food?
INDY Week, March 28, 2012
Photo exhibit shows a hidden labor force: N.C.'s child farmworkers.
An Oasis in a Food Desert
INDY Week, May 19, 2010
That communities like East Durham exist in what researchers have dubbed "food deserts" is nothing new. What is new is that researchers and policymakers are beginning to connect these food deserts with the pervasive problems of hunger and obesity that afflict the poor.
A child of migrant farmworkers plays near a North Carolina tobacco field. Photo by Victoria Bouloubasis, 2011.