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Chelsea DeBarros


Veda Persaud, a college graduate, escapes terror in Guyana, where her father is viciously murdered by racist bigots, and successfully builds a career in America. She meets and marries Gabriel Lopes, a black market tradesman who struggles for US citizenship after first getting exploited by the FBI and then by his legal counsel. Challenged on every front, Gabriel puts his energy into his job as a truck driver. Unlike his peers who doubted him, Gabriel learns the trade and makes a decent living. Together, Veda and Gabriel have Carly Lopes, the family’s first American-born female child. Veda’s cousin, and Gabriel’s best friend, Jal Sukhram, a free spirit working as a waiter on a cruise ship, disembarks in Miami on a whim. He has no visa, and by the time he makes it to New York, his savings are gone. After dreadful work as a tailor in a cramped sweatshop, he re-creates himself as a licensed chauffeur, a job that makes him fulfilled. Experiencing in one another the virtues of self-reliance, independence, ingenuity, and fortitude, these three undocumented Guyanese individuals come to discover just how American they really are at the core of their identity.

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