Framed in the Argentine crisis of 2001, Cartoneros tells the life story of Sergio Sánchez, who after being fired from his job, and faced with a bleak outlook, begins to work as a cardboard worker, hidden from his family. After several years of effort, struggle and recognition, Sánchez founded the "Dignidad" cooperative, met Jorge Bergoglio through it and established a close relationship of friendship with him.
The story starts on the eve of the 2001 crisis and with Chino losing his job, which was black and where his employer swindled him. This is the starting point for the Chino to look for, because in his house he has a wife and a son to feed. This is how he begins to hurge and it is at this point that he discovers that his character and size do not serve him much in the street: He is a pichi and, in addition to having to learn the codes, he has to let himself be taught.