Like water and oil. 


That is how Carmen Huertas describes her two daughters. Born 10 months apart, Lydia and Sarai, known as Sarita, have little in common.  

“Lydia is quiet,” said Carmen. “She’s not a fighter, she’s a quiet person. Sarita, that’s my crazy girl. she’s wild.” 

Despite their differences, the two sisters share January 31, 2009: the night they found out they were both pregnant during a visit to the ER for flu-like symptoms. 

At ages 16 and 14, Lydia and Sarita became mothers and dropped out of high school.  Now at 21 and 19, both sisters are fighting to create better lives for their children; Lydia by attending community college and Sarita by working full-time at a bottle return center.

They are surrounded by poverty and violence. Living in Syracuse’s near Westside and Northside neighborhoods, both sisters see their children not only as obligations that made them grow up, but as opportunities for better lives. 

This project is ongoing. Check back soon for updates.