A heartfelt story about a single father’s effort in overcoming life’s adversities while doing his best to encourage his teenage son to keep focused on school. It proves to be difficult, given the fact that his son holds no respect for him or for the sacrifices he has given. His journey throws many obstacles in his path, including struggling to take over a business due to his new work truck being stolen, having to stand by and watch as his son begins to throw away his future, and his most challenging obstacle, his lack of U.S. citizenship. With the odds against him at every turn, can the power of a determined father persevere?
Carlos wakes every morning to get his son Luis off to school before he himself starts his day. Carlos came to the United States after he got married, not for any one specific reason, but more because “that’s the way it was, you got married and then headed north for the states”, as he explained it to his son. The only problem is, when Carlos is offered an amazing opportunity to take over his friends gardening business, it’s not such an easy decision. In order for this dream to come true, he would first have to come up with $12,000 to purchase his friends work truck and tools. He stressed about how to come up with the money, along with his greatest fear…being pulled over! See, when he followed the traditions and came to the states with his wife, it wasn’t exactly legal. So if he were to, even once, get pulled over for any reason, they would discover he’s an illegal alien and be deported back to Mexico and forced to leave his teenage son in the states without him. His main priority is to provide a better home and a better school for Luis. He realizes the only way to provide these things to his son, is to take the risk and purchase the truck. Carlos’s sister, who lives in the area as well, brings over the money for him to borrow.
Things are really starting to look up until he decides to hire help. He drives to the same street corner where he once stood alongside many other unemployed immigrants hoping to be chosen for a day’s work by the contractors in the area. He pulls up and chooses only one guy, Santiago, a gentlemen who had once given him a piece of a bread loaf. On the first day, as Carlos climbs to the top of a palm tree, Santiago picks up Carlos’s truck keys and cell phone from the ground and runs toward the truck. Carlos realizes what is happening and that Santiago is a few brief moments away from stealing his truck and tools. He races down the tree as fast as he can in an attempt to stop Santiago. But he can’t make it in time. All he can do is watch as his hopes and dreams drive away.
When Luis finds out that his father’s truck was stolen, he tells him he is coming along to get it back. Carlos is reluctant to take him at first, but ends up agreeing. They meet a man who says he knows where Santiago lives, and will take them there for $40. They’re taken to a house occupied by immigrants hiding out. Carlos is given back his cell phone from a man inside who had purchased it from Santiago without knowing it was stolen. He also gives them the name and location of a restaurant that Santiago works during the evenings. While waiting for Santiago’s shift to start, Carlos takes Luis across the street to a rodeo where they spent time together when Luis was much younger. Carlos takes advantage of the alone time together to talk about what’s going on in Luis’s life. Luis hasn’t been spending much time with his father lately and has been showing a lot of disrespect towards him. He’s been spending a lot of time with his girlfriend lately, who, happens to be the cousin of a gang leader. As they finish up their conversation they head over