This is a class here at Casa Latina, we get together for English and Spanish classes. The program is called “Somos Vecinos,” We are Neighbors, and people come from the neighborhood because they want to learn Spanish, and we want to learn English, and at the end of the class we get together to share how it’s going and what we’ve learned.
This is my English class, at Seattle Central Community College. My classmates are from different countries: Morocco, Colombia, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, very international. It represents that we can all be here not just to work, but you can go to school and if you can learn the language better, you will have more opportunities.
This is a map of the bus stops in Seattle. We are always looking for maps to go to our next job, because they give us our work order and we go to the bus stop, and we are trying to get to the address we are given. I think the map is important because if not, then you have to keep asking for directions. Even people here at Casa Latina are always asking, ‘how do I go here, how do I go there.’ I just go and look at the map, and this is how I find my place. I don’t read and I don’t know how to write, but I say
I live at the shelter in City Hall, with people who also have nowhere to sleep… Ever since I arrived in Seattle, I have stayed there, on a mattress… Home is wherever I land, like the saying goes, where the night falls, the body falls as well.
Yo vivo en un albergue en la alcaldía, con otras personas que tampoco tienen dónde dormir. Desde que llegué a Seattle me he quedado allí, sobre un colchón. Mi casa, mi hogar, es donde caiga. Como dice el dicho, donde cae la noche, también cae el cuerpo.
This is my home. There is a table with four chairs. If only I could tell you all the things that have happened at this table. We eat together with my sister, her kids and husband. Also, I sit there with my boyfriend and people who come visit me. For me, this place is very sacred. It’s my favorite place in the world. This is my own space. Here, I have the feeling that I am.
This is a meal my friend invited me to. He had worked and I had not worked so he said “I’ll treat you, we’ll go eat something”. This dish reminds me of when we would all get together with my family, it reminds me of the red rice like the one my mom used to make. And the beef reminds of my brother, he used to make it on the coals and a put a bit of lime. It’s been a long time since I had something like this, and then beans, well you know that everything is with beans otherwise it’s no good
Mexico is a country of many cultures and many languages. Take me, for example, I speak Otomi, from Queretaro. My parents were born there, but I was born in Baja California. So [seeing this woman as a Native American] made me think of my indigenous roots. So with a lot of pride we took this picture together.