In her feature film debut; director patricia riggen weaves their parallel stories into a vividly textured tapestry of yearning & devotion that portrays a child's courage & tenacity; & a mother's sacrifice. Nine-year-old carlos aka carlitos (alonso) is one of the countless children left behind by parents who come to the u.s. Seeking a way to provide for their families. His mother; rosario (del castillo) has worked illegally as a domestic in los angeles for four years; sending money home to her son & mother to give them a chance at a better life. When the death of his grandmother leaves young carlitos alone; he takes his fate into his own hands & heads north across the border to find his mother. As he journeys from his rural mexican village to the l.a. Barrio; carlitos faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles with a steely determination & unfettered optimism that earn him the grudging respect & affection of a reluctant protector; a middle-aged migrant worker named enrique (derbez). The unlikely pair finds its way from tucson to east l.a.; but the only clue carlitos has to his mother's whereabouts is her description of the street corner from which she has called him each sunday for the last four years. Unaware that rosario is only hours away from returning to mexico to be with her son; carlitos & enrique desperately comb the vast unfamiliar city for a place he has seen only in his imagination.