Heroes Wanted (Bright Tights Optional)

Photos courtesy of Dulce Pinzon. See her photos and article here.

By Niurka Piñeiro, IOM Washington 

“Immigrants have fascinating powers,” the words of Dulce Pinzón, a Mexican artist who created the Migrant Superheroes Project which tells the pictorial story of Hispanic migrants in the United States who anonymously toil each day, doing work that many of us no longer want to do. 

​And so where are these tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands – in fact millions – of migrant heroes?  IOM wants to find them and pay homage to them, for without migrants, the wheels would stop turning. 

The new IOM social media campaign #Migrant Heroes calls on everyone to do just that – find that Migrant Hero and let the world know about their positive contribution.

Dulce Pinzón found a most innovative way to show the world the magic powers of these anonymous heroes.  She dressed them in super hero costumes and photographed them going about their daily jobs. 

“The main goal of this project was to pay homage to the brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to work many hours in extreme conditions for low wages which are saved at great cost and sacrifice and sent to families and communities as remittances, which are used to help families back home to survive,” explains Dulce Pinzón..

It’s not hard to find a #MigrantHeroes –just look around you, they are right next to each and every one of us– they may be our doctor, lawyer, preacher, anything we can possibly imagine a migrant is doing it right this minute.

Super heroes have been the stuff of American comic books since the 1930s.  In modern popular fiction these characters possess extraordinary talents, superhuman powers and are dedicated to protecting the public.  Now that sounds like a #MigrantHeroes to me.


One such hero is Cecile Kyenge, who migrated from her native Democratic Republic of the Congo to Italy years ago as a student and is now a medical doctor and a member of the European Parliament.  

“I am the target of xenophobes and racists because I am a migrant,” explains Cecile Kyenge.  “We must work hard to stop attacks on people because of their diversity, which is my case right now. 

#MigrantHeroes have been contributing to their new societies since the beginning of time.  We must reverse the negative perception of migrants.  We cannot deny the contributions of migrants.

In a speech in 1963, President John F. Kennedy said: “We are the descendants of 40 million people who left other countries to come here to the United States to build a new life, to make a new opportunity for themselves and their children.  I think it is not a burden but a privilege to have the chance in 1963 to share that great concept which they felt so deeply.”

And that sense of privilege should continue today.  Join IOM on Facebook and Twitter in identifying all #MigrantHeroes to showcase their phenomenal contributions to our societies!