Motivations and aspirations
The “piangüa” route started as an alternative source of income. In the beginning people were buying ‘piangüa to export to Ecuador. We started to look for a better solution, to open new paths in this business by ourselves, to make it our source of income. Then some people came here, they wanted to know how we harvest the piangüa, what the job looked like, and that is how we started it as an ecotourism activity.
The fact that I am part of the same situation is what pushes and motivates me. When there is a woman who approaches and talks to me about her situation. I am with her because of her personal situations as a migrant in the country. I understand her because I’m there too. It is not the same thing being on the other side when fighting for immigrants because in every circumstance, you are in the same situation and for this reason, you will fight more strongly.
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.
This is a picture I have in my wallet. She is my daughter. She is the only one I have a picture of and I always carry it in my wallet. I have two more daughters. When I’m sad I will pull out the picture and I look at it, and then I get calmer. I call them and we talk, I tell them “I’m OK, it’s all good here.” They’re in California now and they give me the strength to keep on struggling to move forward to improve my life. I send them money for school and for their shoes when I can. I wish I had more to send them more.
This is when I first got here to Seattle. This is the apartment I rented. This is my kitchen.
And, in the future, do you want to continue living here?
Oh no, for the future everything is transformation and change...Seattle is a nice city, but there’s better cities. I want to see the world. I want to keep on traveling.
Esto es cuando primero llegué a Seattle. Éste es el apartamento que renté. Ésta es mi cocina.
Y en el futuro, ¿quiere seguir viviendo aquí?
This is a picture of the two main parties of the US, the Republicans and the Democrats. I was not born in this country but one day I would like to be able to vote. Maybe in 10 years, in 20 years. One day.
Ésta es una foto de los dos partidos políticos principales en los Estados, los Republicanos y los Demócratas. Yo no nací en este país, pero un día me gustaría poder votar. Tal vez en 10 años o en 20. Un día.