Salvador, aged 6, sits on his bed in anticipation of witnessing the afternoon bullfight at Plaza de Toros Mexico. Behind him are several ribbons, each symbolize a bull dedicated to him by his matador heroes. Salvador's family is wealthy and staunch Catholics. They believe God will protect him from any harm.
Salvador’s family is wealthy and has over 17 handcrafted Matador suits, several bulls’ horns, ribbons and a great deal of other bullfighting paraphernalia in his room and around the house.
Salvador's sister is also dressed as a matador but in fact prefers ballet and dance. Salvador, his sister and their father sit by the door to depart as they wait for their mother.
In contrast, Tadeo, aged 6, has only one Matador suit crafted by his grandmother. His (single) mother lives a modest life with her parents and supports his determination to achieve Matador status against the odds. Deeply fearful of Tadeo being injured, she quietly hopes he will outgrow this obsession.
Tadeo practices passing his piñata bull, one of the few items of Bullfighting paraphernalia he owns.
Tadeo and Salvador practice their passes as their matador trainer watches on the left and Salvador's mother films the boys with her iPhone on the right. They both aspire to be Matadors yet unlikely to fight a small bull until they are at least 8 years old. They attend most bullfights with obsessive enthusiasm.
‘El Maletilla’ Meaning a bullfighter with great potential, Cristobal, aged 10, dresses to fight the 150kg bull called "Mañito" or little brother. His parents support him but simultaneously fear for his safety. They are able to pay for each bull he fights but do not have a ranch or stem from a bullfighting background, so he trains with the sponsored assistance of matadors who see his potential and promise.
‘Novillero’ is a pre Matador title for aspiring toreros. Although a much more accomplished bullfighter than his older counterparts Cristobal is yet of age to attain their status, nor wear the formal attire.
Cristóbal Arenas Moncayo is 10 years old “To fight a bull is something beautiful, there are a lot of emotions… adrenaline, excitement and the danger is always there. As a torero you are always afraid but this is normal, it makes you stronger and helps you to take control of your fear… from that point you move ahead.”
Greeting fans after his bullfight at Cinco Villas, Cristóbal felt he did not perform his best at this bullfight, yet he still earned one bulls ear. The bull gored him during his fight, and when asked about how he felt about it he said “it’s an occupational hazard.” Many spectators said that although he was the youngest of the seven bullfighters that day, “…he preformed the most beautifully and elegantly. He has a great deal of talent. It's very exciting and inspiring to watch him. He's like a grown man in a child's body. He is exquisite!"