When they announced there was going to be an immigration reform, we were happy. But when we saw what they offered, well… I’m glad that the law will maintain families united, but those of us who have no family, even if we have been here a long time, then we’re left out. If I’m not married, I don’t qualify. My friend has also never married, and doesn’t have kids. And he’s says: “once again, we are left out”.
In Mexico, I only did elementary school. I came here and I didn’t know what was going to happen here. I had no idea they spoke another language. That was the first thing that impacted me, the way of life… it’s very different. But I liked it, I liked the way of life, so that’s why I stayed.
En México sólo hice la escuela primaria. Vine aquí y no sabía qué iba a pasar aquí, no sabía que se hablaba otro idioma. Eso fue lo primero que me impactó, la forma de vida, que es muy diferente. Pero me gustó, me gustó esa forma de vida, y por eso me quedé.
You can use this picture in the end. I’m not going to say much about it. I was learning how to use a camera. That’s what happened, that’s why it looks that way…
So how do you see yourself?
Oh, I see I need a haircut. The thing is in the summer though you sweat a lot so in the summer I cut my hair shorter because you have to be faster. That's one of the things I learned to do here in Seattle is garden/yard work.
I want to ask you when you look at this picture who is he, happy or sad or what?
This place is a church and a shelter. It represents that you have to believe in something. I don’t know how to explain it but you have to grab onto something. Some people grab on to their family, or to their job. Some people simply believe that they will do better the next day. I don’t always go to church. I go more to talk to people. Having lived here 20 years, you don’t just depend on luck. You also have to have a bit of faith. Faith is not bad. It’s luck and faith you need. Luck and faith.
This is a place where they serve meals every day at one in the afternoon. When there isn’t enough work and you only have $10 or $15, sometimes some friends and I go to these places, so, you know, we can keep our $10 or $15 in our pocket. It’s simply a big help that they offer people. This is right in downtown Seattle.
I think this picture is about the generosity I have found in this city. Not only with my clients and the people I work with, but … I know how some programs work downtown and people are very generous. And that's what I tried to explain with this picture.
Esta foto tiene que ver con la generosidad que yo he encontrado en esta ciudad. No sólo con los clientes que yo tengo y la gente con la que trabajo, pero … yo sé cómo corren los programas del centro y le gente es muy generosa. Es lo que trato yo de explicar con esa foto.
This guy I met 3 years ago here. He has his kids in Ciudad Juarez, and if he makes $100, he will send them 90 and he will live with 10. I never see him wasting his money. He prefers to eat where it’s free, but his money is sent to Mexico, to his kids. I send money to Mexico but not like him. If I want to buy a pair of shoes I buy them, but he doesn’t. He’s set in his mind on what he wants for the future. It doesn’t mean I don’t, but... I think if I’m not going to stay here, I need to do the same.
What I want to say with this picture is that here in the United States I learned that there are laws that are clear. If you break the law, you have to pay. This is a sign when you get on the light rail, and if they catch you without having paid the ticket it’s $125 fine. There is no way out of it. I like that it works this way not just for me but for everybody.
This is a taco truck I like to go to once a week. I like the seasoning of the food, even though after 20 years here I’ve gotten used to the food on this side. The good food is good, but the flavor of Mexico is hard to find. But those are things I don’t really miss, I don’t miss the flavor of Mexico, I don't miss the life of Mexico. I'm used to living here.
Seattle, the city of the Seahawks, is not only the one that has given me more opportunities, but also the city that has taught me the most. Here you have more opportunities to learn English, or the simple fact that you can get a driver’s license, or an ID. It’s a very big advantage. It’s also very fun to be here, there are many things can be done. I think that people here are more generous. I see it when you go out for a job from here. They take you to their homes and they trust you.