Noé Montes was born in Modesto, CA. He grew up in a family of migrant farm workers that traveled up and down California’s Central Valley following harvests. After high school, he worked briefly in the field of electronics before finding the medium of photography. Around the same time, with the goal of helping other people, he began working with community organizations. Over the last twenty-five years, Noé has developed a socially engaged practice in which he creates documentary work around a specific social issue or geographic location. He then uses that work as a tool for community and civic engagement, combined with programming from local partners. He also works to integrate the stories of the communities he documents into the American historical narrative.