These are four women, all from Casa Latina, at the Martin Luther King Day March… They’re all holding hands together, the four of them, like struggling together. It was a nice picture, as part of the march and in solidarity. That made me proud of my colleagues here at Casa Latina, with their strong will, that we can all keep on moving forward together.
Family and community
This march was on Martin Luther King day. There have been other marches that I have participated in. And I like to be active, to let it be known who I am. I also participated in the march in 2006, and last year, when I was detained in the immigration detention center in Tacoma, I participated in the hunger strike. I share what some of the leaders here at Casa Latina say: “we have to be part of the battle for the rights of Hispanics.” It’s not just about me. It’s for the others too. Maybe I won’t get what I want individually.
These are all my friends at the assembly here at Casa Latina. I’ve worked with this guy and with that guy, and with that guy, and all these people. We all get up very early to come looking for our dollar.
Estos son todos mis amigos en la asamblea aquí en Casa Latina. Yo he trabajado con éste y con éste otro, con todos ellos. Todos nos levantamos temprano cada día para venir buscando nuestro dólar.
That is a prayer that is said before the meeting, so it’s part of a church where we get together. We all have a family, but I don’t have a family. They all have their families and we get together every two weeks to talk, to share, what we’re living, what we’re going through, how we’re feeling, how the family is doing and to ask God for help to keep on moving forward. I have three kids and then I got a divorce. I don’t have any family in Seattle. Or in the U.S.
Here in Casa Latina, our main purpose is to work. However, we are not alone because we are in this together. We come from different countries, different cultures, different places. For the past 20 years, I have lived in Seattle, but this is the first time I feel in a family. We are able to laugh, cry and tell each other things. Honestly, I thought I had a unique story because I am a victims of domestic violence. However, I have learned that there are others who have lived longer and dealt with worst. After seeing their strength, I do not think of being unique, but rather special.
For the past 2 years, I have been going to this church. Before I finally went, I heard a lot about this church. Once I discovered it, I was attracted by the many migrants that go there. I go there to meet other people, so I can become involved in the community. One thing is to work, while another thing is the congregation. Also, it is so the church takes me into consideration within the community.
I was at the bus stop, and the airplane passed by. I remembered that after 20 years of not going to Mexico, in June of last year I went to Mexico. So when I see airplanes I feel like I’m in there going once again, and I start to cry. Every time I see one, I wish I was arriving once again in Mexico. You know what it feels like go to visit family. I now have my residency, thank God, so I am able to go back and see them.
I saw she had a walking cane and she reminded me of my mom because my mom is now 77. My mom is at the age where she needs to be taken care of. I felt I wanted to hug my mom and have her nearby. Also, I remembered that when I brought her to Seattle, I took her on walks.
Vi a esta mujer caminando con un bastón y mer recordó a mi mamá, que tiene ahora 77 años. Mi mamá está en una edad en que necesita que la cuiden. Sentí que quería abrazar a mi mamá y tenerla cerca. También recordé cuando la traje aquí a Seattle, la sacaba a caminar.
This is the eldest of my brothers and my sister in law with the four nephews, the family. It had been almost 30 years since I had last seen them. Many years. They uploaded that photo to Facebook, and so I took it. They had a big meal with seafood, with very large mojarras, ceviche, shrimp… he enjoys it with his family, they come together to eat. I see them and I imagine that I am there with them. Even though I am here, I feel like I am there among them.
My daughters were born and raised here. It’s a different culture. They don’t know their other brothers and sisters who live in Mexico. They say “Yes, yes mom, they are your children and they are over there in Mexico.” I say “daughter, call your sister,” and they say, “nah, why… I really don’t know her.” Can you believe that? Because some of them don’t know them in person, and well, it’s difficult for me to convince them.