You always have to be learning. You have to contribute your part, you have to do your part and learn how to use the computer, how to use the keyboard… you have to learn how to do new things. So they say, “oh no, learning English is too difficult,” but I say learning English is very important because even so English is now what feeds us, you will get better jobs if you speak English.
Information and learning
This last picture is of a stone with the word “BELIEVE.” Every day, I carry it with me in my bag. When I leave home, I have it in my coat. I have to believe in myself. I have to believe in life. I have to believe in others. I have to believe in so many things… things that I want to fight for, because if you fight with faith, then you can accomplish things. Faith is something that I want to maintain because I am a human being. Weakness will make you vanish. With faith and hope, one can keep moving forward.
This is my American Dream, for me and for all the Hispanics who are here. You dream about going to the US and you think: “Oh, I will earn dollars and return to Guatemala and buy a nice car, a nice house, buy cows, etc.” So this picture of me sleeping and dreaming about my American Dream of coming here to the US to earn dollars and baskets of money and go back and be rich. And then you get here and it’s not like that. Where is the money? Where are all the riches? Where do you pick up the money? It’s all lies. The American Dream that everyone is talking
about is not like that.
They started small, and now they have a little store. They are humble. They will help you. When they don’t have anything, they won’t deny their friendship. They are always telling you: “whatever I can do, you can do too. What you need is to never give up, to keep on working. Sí se puede, yes you can”. The most important thing is to have and value your dreams.
For me, the pigeon that is taking off to fly is me, because I feel that I cannot allow anybody to cut my wings… in any circumstance. In life, we have to try to fly so we can accomplish our goals, both personal and professional. For this, you need to have faith and hope that you will accomplish them. I remember that my mom used to say, ‘children are not your own- you have to give them wings so they can fly off.’ I remember and carry with me my mom’s words. Those are very wise words. The words that parents tell you during your childhood and youth.
Well, that was the first day, when I arrived to Seattle, I got off the bus, and we went to the library with a friend. This is my friend, the one sitting there… It’s been about three years since I took that photo.
Bueno, eso fue el primer día cuando llegué a Seattle. Me bajé del bus y fui a la biblioteca con un amigo. Ese es mi amigo, el que está sentado allí. La biblioteca… hace ya como tres años que tomé esa foto.
I always go to the library to use the translator, since I am an aficionado of English. I learn a lot of words and phrases there. I watch videos as well, but they have to have the closed captioning, otherwise I don’t like it because I don’t understand any of it. If the captioning comes up, and the person is speaking in English, that’s what I like. I want to hear the pronunciation. That’s why I go to the library
There’s the library. A friend asked me, “do you want to speak with your family? I will show you how to get onto the computer,” and that’s how I got to know the library. He begged me, “let’s go to the library!” because I don’t like to read books, but one day I agreed and up to now, I’m still going there. I use the computer for the translator, and I see movies with subtitles. And sometimes I speak to my family.
How did you learn to use the computer?
I started to come here to Casa Latina to the computer classes. Here they give you the very basics: how to use email, how to open an account, and how to use it. I learned those basic things here. I would like to learn how to repair cell phones or tablets because there’s a lot of work I can no longer do because I don’t have the strength. But my mind could do other jobs… I dream of doing something like repairing computers. I want to learn other things related to technology.
When I first bought my smart phone I didn’t know how to use it and so I lost a job because I didn’t know how to answer. He would call me and I just touched the screen like this, and I wouldn’t answer. It was only later that somebody told me that you have to actually swipe over and then answer the phone. Now I know how to answer. It’s easy, everything is easy once you learn.