Asylum seekers at Benito Juarez park in Tapachula, Mexico. Photo by Leonardo March.

TAPACHULA, Mexico  — Eight months after arriving in town, Melvil Richemond is finally allowing himself to dream. The 34-year-old is thinking about opening a Haitian restaurant in Mexico and bringing his wife and child from Haiti to live with him in Mexico.

“I want to stay in Mexico to build my life,” said Richemond, while waiting in line at the National Migration Institute office to secure a Permanent Resident card. “The most important thing is my family.”

Previously, Richemond lived in Chile for five years and left because he couldn’t bring his family there. Going on to the U.S., he said, could mean living “15 or 20 years without papers” and a long time before he might leave it to get his family.

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Leonardo March is Brooklyn-based visual journalist from Puerto Rico. In a previous life Leonardo was a photographer and graphic designer, skills he’s refocusing to cover the Haitian Diaspora in the US. Leonardo can be reached at