Puerto de Luna

Ernesto Padilla

By Matt Harlan

The life of Ernesto Padilla is one marked with opportunities masked by tragedy.

Padilla’s childhood was spent with his large family in Puerto de Luna, N.M. The town, nestled on the Pecos River, was a community inhabited primarily by Latino ranchers and farmers.

"My dad had a general store and a cattle ranch, so for my age, I was pretty well enrolled in the activities that constitute farming and cattle ranching," Padilla said.

Farming, however, was unable to offer all he wanted in life.

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