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A Better Life ()


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A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.

Director:
Awards:
  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations.
  • See more »
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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

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Carlos Galindo (as Demian Bichir)
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Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo
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Blasco Martinez
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Luis Galindo
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Mrs. Donnelley
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Ramon
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Facundo
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Ruthie Valdez
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School Security Officer
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Juvie Officer
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School Secretary
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Anita
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Linda
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Santiago
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Truck Driver
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Marcelo Valdez
Bella Balajadia ...
Bella (as Isabella Balajadia)
Giselle Nieto ...
Gigi
Luis Colocio ...
Ruthie's Uncle (as Luis A. Colocio)
Ray Moreno ...
Ruthie's Uncle
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Ruthie's Mother
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Jesus
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Young Woman (as Taide Acosta)
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Bearded Man
Isidro Vallin ...
Payaso
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Shot Girl
Henry Ambriz ...
Mexican Singer
Miguel Alejandro Gaxiola ...
Voz de Mando Singer
Jorge Arturo Gaxiola ...
Voz de Mando Singer
Robert Renderos ...
Busboy
Charles Currier ...
Auto Mart Security Guard
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Prison Guard
Adrian Mojica ...
Police Officer
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Gabe Wettenal
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Rey (as J. Eddie Martinez)
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ICE Officer
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ICE Officer
Abraham Chaidez ...
Coyote
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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ICE Officer (uncredited)
Rico Devereaux ...
Bouncer (uncredited)
Maynor Lopez ...
Gardener (uncredited)
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Dancer in Nightclub (uncredited)
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Nicaraguan (uncredited)
Abraham Rubio ...
Club Bouncer (uncredited)
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Young Woman (uncredited)

Directed by

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Chris Weitz

Written by

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Eric Eason ... (screenplay)
 
Roger L. Simon ... (story)

Produced by

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Jami Gertz ... producer
Laura Greenlee ... co-producer
Paul Junger Witt ... producer
Stacey Lubliner ... producer
Christian McLaughlin ... producer
Tony Thomas ... executive producer
Chris Weitz ... producer

Music by

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Alexandre Desplat

Cinematography by

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Javier Aguirresarobe ... director of photography

Film Editing by

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Peter Lambert

Editorial Department

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Dannielle Carr ... post-production assistant
Michael Hatzer ... digital intermediate colorist: Technicolor
Chris Jensen ... senior digital colorist assist
Kindra Marra ... first assistant editor (as Kindra J. Marra)
Bob Peishel ... digital intermediate producer
Lara Ramirez ... assistant editor
Mark Sahagun ... digital intermediate editor
Ara Thomassian ... imaging technician: Digital Intermediates
Leslie Adkins-Garza ... post-production coordinator (uncredited)
Harry Muller ... color timer (uncredited)
Darin Wooldridge ... home video mastering colorist (uncredited)

Casting By

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Carla Hool
Joseph Middleton

Production Design by

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Missy Stewart ... (as Melissa Stewart)

Art Direction by

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Christopher Tandon

Set Decoration by

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Bryan Venegas ... (as Bryan John Venegas)

Costume Design by

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Elaine Montalvo

Makeup Department

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Kim Adrissi ... assistant makeup artist
Gloria Pasqua Casny ... key hair stylist
Sallie Ciganovich ... key hair stylist (as Sallie Cignanovich)
Maggie Hayes-Jackson ... assistant hair stylist (as Maggie Hayes Jackson)
Michael Marcellino ... key hair stylist
Mark Sanchez ... key makeup artist
Yoko Nobushi ... additional makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Robb Earnest ... production supervisor
Laura Greenlee ... unit production manager
Andrea Isaacs ... executive in charge of production
Jasmine Kosovic ... post-production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Carlos De La Torre ... second assistant director
Marisa Ferrey ... second second assistant director
Ricardo Méndez Matta ... first assistant director (as Ricardo Mendez Matta)
Allison Rushton ... dga trainee

Art Department

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Jim Bitil ... on-set greensperson
Joshua Borgese ... greens (as Josh Borgese)
Steve Borgese ... key greensperson
Jerry A. Chavez ... property master (as Jerry Chavez)
Denis Cordova ... construction coordinator
James A. Costello ... set dresser (as James Costello)
Kyle Craig ... labor foreperson
Jon De Pabon ... gang boss (as Peabo 'Jon' De Pabon)
Timothy Feimster ... on-set dresser (as Tim Fiemster)
Eloy Fernandez ... assistant property master
Luis Ivan Garcia ... art department production assistant
Ray Garcia ... set dresser
Lucia Gillot ... set painter
Jose Gutierrez Jr. ... art department coordinator
Brigitte Heichelbech ... set painter
Charles Hunter ... set painter
Anne Hyvarinen ... lead painter
Stephen Kelley Jr. ... set dresser
Charles Kern ... set painter
Noah Plunkett ... greens
Neil David Pontecorvo ... greensman
Catherine Pryor ... set dresser
Caroline Quinn ... set designer (as Caroline Quinn-Decker)
Lisa Robinson ... assistant property master
Richard Robinson ... propmaker foreperson
Aaron Rodriguez ... stand-by painter
Dave Sliwa ... set dresser
Gary Damian Thomas ... storyboard artist (as Gary Thomas)
David Touster ... set decorator buyer
Phil Tubach ... leadperson
Javiera Varas ... assistant art director
Christian Washburn ... on-set dresser

Sound Department

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Mark Agostino ... audio playback operator
Wade Barnett ... adr recordist
Juan Cisneros ... sound utility
Lara Dale ... foley artist
Chris David ... re-recording mixer
Romain Drouillon ... french dubbing mixer
John R. Fors ... boom operator (as John Fors)
Terry Garcia ... assistant sound editor
Allen Hartz ... dialogue editor
Scott Hecker ... supervising sound editor
Ellen Heuer ... foley artist
Rick Hromadka ... additional sound editor
Kraig Kishi ... sound utility
Elliott Koretz ... additional sound editor
Tim Limer ... sound mix recordist
Yehuda Maayan ... sound mixer
Travis MacKay ... adr mixer
Eric A. Norris ... additional sound editor (as Eric Norris)
Derek Pippert ... foley editor
A. Josh Reinhardt ... foley mixer (as Joshua Reinhardt)
Miguel Rivera ... supervising adr editor / supervising dialogue editor
Scott Sanders ... sound effects editor
Roy Seeger ... additional sound editor
Gabriel J. Serrano ... re-recording mixer
Jon Title ... sound effects editor

Special Effects by

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Charlie Bellardinelli ... special effects coordinator
James Bomalick ... special effects foreman
Emil Warren ... special effects (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Kyle Gray ... compositor: Wildfire VFX
Elbert Irving IV ... visual effects coordinator: Wildfire VFX
Tom Lamb ... compositor: Wildfire VFX
Jim 'Big Dog' McLean ... compositor: Wildfire VFX (as Jim McLean)
Caleb Owens ... compositor: Wildfire VFX
Eric Pender ... compositor: Wildfire VFX
Lauren Ritchie ... visual effects producer: Wildfire VFX
Dottie Starling ... visual effects supervisor: Wildfire VFX
Wilson Tang ... digital restoration (uncredited)

Stunts

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Greg Anthony ... stunts
Danny Arias ... stunts
Daniel Arrias ... stunt double
Timothy Thomas Brown ... stunts (as Tim Brown)
Charles Currier ... stunts
Edgar Landa ... stunts
Nito Larioza ... stunts
Danny Le Boyer ... stunts
Will Leong ... stunts
Anthony Martins ... stunts
Jason Rodriguez ... stunts
Trampas Thompson ... stunt coordinator
Mark Vanselow ... stunts
Nito Larioza ... stunt double: Gabriel Chavarria (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Amy H. Abrams ... second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Amy Abrams)
Dustin Ault ... best boy rigging grip
Eric C. Castro ... rigging electrician (as Eric Castro)
Rafael 'Rafa' Castro ... video assist operator (as Rafael Castro)
John P. Cleveland ... grip (as John Cleveland)
Andreas Crawford ... dolly grip (as Andy Crawford)
Gary Dagg ... key grip
Dhamarata Dhiensuwana ... key rigging grip (as Dhamarata 'G' Dhiensuwana)
Louis DiCesare ... gaffer (as Lou DiCesare)
Danny Durr ... lamp operator
Tim Durr ... best boy electric
Eric Dyson ... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Michael Fauntleroy Jr. ... second assistant camera (as Mike Fauntleroy)
Ian Fox ... camera operator
Kirk R. Gardner ... camera operator: "b" camera (as Kirk Gardner) / steadicam operator (as Kirk Gardner)
Roy C. Granada ... rigging gaffer (as Roy Granada)
David Henri ... 24 frame playback operator
Ami Howard ... loader
Amy Howard ... camera loader
Joe Kelly ... grip
Carrie Lazar ... camera loader
Nick Liampetchakul ... rigging grip (as Nick Liapetchakul)
Bill Marti ... second assistant camera
Peter McAdams ... grip
Merrick Morton ... still photographer (as Merrick Rhodes Morton)
Ray Ochoa ... grip
Travis Phung ... rigging electrician
Martin Reder ... lamp operator (as Marty Reder)
Nikola Ristic ... lamp operator
Moulaye Sene ... lamp operator
Brian Silva ... lamp operator
Vich Thiensuwana ... rigging grip (as Vich Thienfuwana)
Mike Thomas ... additional camera operator
Tim van der Linden ... rigging electrician
Rodney Veto ... best boy grip
David Youel ... best boy rigging electric
Nico Bally ... technocrane technician (uncredited)
Jake Leannah ... electrician (uncredited)
Patriq Luo ... electric rigging best boy (uncredited)
Bruce Sharp ... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Mariana Sánchez de Antuñano ... first assistant camera: "a" camera (uncredited)

Casting Department

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Lorin Semone Leifer ... casting assistant (as Semone Leifer)
Caitlin McKenna ... adr voice casting
Tammy L. Smith ... extras casting (as Tammy Smith)
Dixie Webster ... extras casting (as Dixie Webster-Davis)
Tineka Becker ... casting associate (uncredited)
Kathryn Calogero ... casting assistant (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Jesse Anderson ... costumer (as Jesse Chloe Anderson)
Safowa Bright-Asare ... costumer
David Fernandez ... costumer
Maritza Garcia-Roddy ... costume supervisor
Anne Kemmeter ... additional set costumer (uncredited)

Location Management

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Roland Arenz ... assistant location manager
Andrew Cone ... assistant location manager (as Andy Cone)
Bob Craft ... additional location manager
Fermin Davalos ... location manager
Ed Portillo ... Location Site Rep
Alfonso F. Ruiz ... assistant location manager (as Alfonso Ruiz)
Bill Wesley ... key assistant location manager
Taylor Boyd ... key assistant location manager (uncredited)
Richard G. Orozco ... location manager: prep (uncredited)

Music Department

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David Arch ... musician: piano (as Dave Arch)
Jean-Pascal Beintus ... orchestrator
Christine Bergren ... music clearance and legal services: Christine Bergren Music Consulting
Nicolas Charron ... orchestrator
Peter Clarke ... assistant music editor
Phil Cobb ... musician: trumpet
Allison Cummings ... music clearance and legal services: Christine Bergren Music Consulting (as Ali Cummings)
Alexandre Desplat ... conductor / orchestrator
Andrew Dudman ... music mixer: Abbey Road Studios / music recordist: Abbey Road Studios
Jim Ellis ... musician: mandolin
Xavier Forcioli ... music programming
Dalia Franco ... music clearance and legal services: Christine Bergren Music Consulting
Rebecca Gilliver ... musician: cello
Colin Green ... musician: guitar
Charles Martin Inouye ... supervising music editor
Paul Katz ... music consultant: Eye2Ear Music
Carmine Lauri ... orchestra leader
London Symphony Orchestra ... musicians (as The London Symphony Orchestra)
Gerard McCann ... supervising music editor
Sylvain Morizet ... orchestrator
Oh No ... composer: additional music
John Parricelli ... musician: guitar
Alexandra Patsavas ... music supervisor
Claude Romano ... music preparation
Marc Stevens ... recording manager: L.S.O.
Dan Thomas ... musician: mandolin
Kasey Truman ... music coordinator
Norbert Vergonjeanne ... music preparation (as Norbert Vergonjanne)
Brittany Whyte ... music coordinator

Transportation Department

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James Andrews ... driver (as Jim Andrews)
George Bolton ... transportation captain
Rick Bowen ... driver
Steve Bridgeman ... driver
Jim DePue ... driver (as James DePue)
Rodrigo Dorame ... driver (as Rodrigo Dorame Jr.)
Wayne Flowers Jr. ... driver (as Wayne Flowers)
Jose Hernandez ... driver
Mark Holmes ... driver
Dennis Janovici ... driver
Joe Moraldi ... driver
Esteban Munoz ... driver
Nelson O. Noguera ... driver (as Nelson Noguera)
Peter Ortega ... driver
German Rodriguez ... driver
Federico Salas ... driver
Mario Simon ... transportation coordinator
Brian Stackhouse ... driver
Patrick Tousignant ... driver
Ted Trella ... driver
Norma Leonard ... transportation assistant (uncredited)

Other crew

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Maxine Abarbara ... studio teacher (as Maxine Abarabara)
Rachel Aberly ... unit publicist
Caellum Allan ... physical production
Diana Ascher ... post production accountant: Trevanna Post
Karen Barna ... business affairs/legal
Alex Barnoya ... set medic
Ellen Benjamin ... assistant: Mr. Witt
Christa Beth Watkins ... production assistant (as Christa 'Beth' Watkins) / production assistant
Charmaine Boos ... studio teacher
Carolyn Bowes ... production assistant
Giselle Chruszcz ... assistant: Ms. Lubliner & Ms. Gertz
Lida Davidians ... insurance: DeWitt Stern Group
Ron Dolecki ... legal services: Rosenfeld, Meyer & Sussman (as Ron E. Dolecki Jr.)
Steven Eddy ... physical production executive
Shayne Fiske ... production executive
Will Garcia ... craft service (as William Garcia)
John A. Hamby ... insurance: DeWitt Stern Group (as John Hamby)
Bridget Hart ... stand-in
Mary Hernandez ... accounting clerk
Erick Herrarte ... head chef
Pablo C. Herrera ... craft service (as Pablo Herrera)
Nathan Israel ... production assistant
Ismael Jimenez ... production assistant (as Ismael 'Cheese' Jimenez)
Evan Johnson ... assistant production coordinator
Quanita Johnson ... production finance manager
Ben Kraus ... production assistant
Ashley Kravitz ... clearances: Cleared By Ashley
Norma Jean Leonard ... production assistant
Melissa Lizardo ... production assistant
Romy Loor ... production assistant
Giovanni Lopez ... insurance: DeWitt Stern Group
Stephanie Mace ... production assistant
Liliana M. Molina ... script supervisor
Linda Morel ... production coordinator (as Linda Bracero-Morel)
Bradley Pero ... production assistant (as Brad Pero)
Oscar Pizano ... payroll accountant
Jeff 'Doc' Porter ... construction medic (as Jeff Porter)
Bryant Powell ... stand-in
Frank Reina ... production assistant (as Frankie Reina)
Jesus A. Reyes ... assistant to producer
Ahmed Saker ... construction medic
Omar Apanco Salgado ... stand-in
Loriel Samaras ... production assistant
Will Sandoval ... production assistant
Natasha Shumny ... post facilities coordinator
Todd Steiner ... production financing: Comerica Entertainment Group
Jared Underwood ... production financing: Comerica Entertainment Group
Brenda Vogel ... assistant: Mr. Weitz
Stephanie Wescott ... first assistant accountant
Lavinia Zetina ... production accountant
David Keith Anderson ... dancer (uncredited)
Zoe Bower Robert ... post facilities manager (uncredited)
Tana David ... post facilities coordinator (uncredited)
Erik Feig ... production executive (uncredited)
Marc C. Geschwind ... extras coordinator (uncredited)
Ari Joffe ... set production assistant (uncredited)
Regan B. Pederson ... legal consultant (uncredited)
Michael James 'Scotty' Scott ... finance manager (uncredited)

Thanks

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Miguel Arteta ... thanks
Bob Salerno ... the producers wish to thank
Carlos Ávila ... special thanks

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Carlos Galindo is a decent man, a Mexican single parent working as a gardener in California to raise Luis, his fourteen-year-old son, whom Carlos is frightened will drift into local gang culture. Carlos buys a truck for his work with money loaned by his sister but a shifty new employee steals it from him and, though Carlos and Luis track the thief down, he has sold the truck. Father and son bond as they reclaim the vehicle from the pound but Carlos attracts police attention, making his future in America uncertain when it is discovered that he is an illegal immigrant. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Keywords
Taglines Every father wants more for his son See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • The Gardener (United States)
  • Una vida mejor (Spain)
  • Bolji život (Croatia)
  • Bolje sutra (Serbia)
  • A kertész (Hungary)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 98 min
Official Sites
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $10,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $62,087, 26 Jun 2011
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $1,863,419

Did You Know?

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Trivia Director Chris Weitz liked to do all the dangerous scenes in the script before he asked his cast to perform them. A stunt double taught Weitz and Demián Bichir how to climb a palm tree, and although Weitz was first to successfully climb one, Bichir did go on to film all the scenes himself, without a stunt double. Weitz told the audience at a SAG Screening: "That is why in my films there are not many scenes that require stunt doubles". See more »
Goofs At 21:10, the size and shape of the bread that Santiago is giving to Carlos Galindo is different from different angles. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Episode #1.23 (2011). See more »
Soundtracks Rolex See more »
Quotes Carlos Galindo: This country is a land of dreams. It can be a hard place, a cruel place. But it's where I work, and I dream of a better place for my son.
See more »

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