Motivations and aspirations

Jorge: If You Get To a Place for the First Time You Have to be Decisive

early morning street in dark

Well, in this next one I wanted to show the city, also early in the morning, and it’s the city in the background. It’s Beacon Hill in the back. In facts it was one of the first neighborhoods I went to when I first arrived in Seattle, was in Beacon Hill. Without knowing anything, someone brought me there to live in their house and that's what I always remember. That was the first neighborhood I lived in.

So why is this place important for you?

Jorge: We Start Work Early, When It is Still Dark

empty dark street

I like this photo because the life of the day laborer starts early in the morning. If you want to work you have to get up very early, at least at 5 in the morning. And in the winter, this is what the day looks like. It’s dark. This picture is here at Casa Latina at 5 in the morning.


Me gusta esta foto porque la vida como jornalero comienza muy temprano. Si quieres trabajo te tienes que levantar muy de mañana, por lo menos a las 5 de la mañana. Y en el invierno así se ve, porque está oscuro a esa hora. Esta foto es aquí en Casa Latina a las 5 de la mañana.

Lupe: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Photo of Lupe

I’m between a rock and a hard place, between the sword and the wall. If I stay here, well, that would be better, but it would be turning my back on my kids. And I cannot do that, because they’re my life. But if I try to go back and they catch me and they keep me in detention for a year, well, I don’t want that either, because then I won’t be able to be with my kids either. So I don’t know, I don’t know what I’m going to do. And to my village, I don’t want to go back there. There’s no work there. It’s only agriculture and there’s no work. So I don’t want to go back there. So I don’t know.

Chiapas: At the Wall

border wall

I’ll keep on trying two or three times, and if I cannot make it and will try to find a job here, because in my state, things are really bad. I want to find a place where I can have a job with dignity and not get into trouble. I want to save more, so I can have more money. Maybe have a family. 

Catracho: So I Can Provide Something Better for My Family

man posing for camera

I asked them to take a picture of me because I had been taking many other pictures and I did not appear in them... I was not in any picture. So I asked them to take a picture of me.

So how does it feel to be here in the picture?

Oh, it feels great. Now I will be there for a long time...

If your relatives saw this picture, what would they think of you?

I don’t know. Maybe they’d wonder what I’m doing around here.

And what are you doing here?

Chapín: I Thank God Because I Always Receive Something...

plate of food

I thank God because I always receive something... If it’s not here then there, and if it’s not there, well, somewhere. I give thanks because last time I didn’t have anything, I didn’t have food I didn’t have any water, nothing. I came, and somebody said, here, have 50 pesos, 5 dollars. And I said, oh, thank you, be blessed. I went and bought some water and some food. And thank you very much.

I went and bought some water and some food. God always has a door open for me. Sometimes we as humans don’t see that but I know that there’s always one door that opens for us.

Chapín: Dismay is Only for Cowards

man with blurred out face

This is where I woke up. It’s good to know that God gave me a new day. Each time when I wake up I thank God for giving me a new
day. I wake up and open my eyes, and move my arms and legs. And there’s other people who can’t. There’s other people who die. So every day when I wake up and I look around I say, thank you, Father, for giving me a new day.

Chapín: All at Peace in the Morning

Photo of shared sleeping space in the morning, before everyone has awoken.

You can see this is in the morning, and I was kind of sleepy, and everybody is asleep. This is really early in the morning. This is like 5:45 when I took this picture. I took that picture when they were all sleeping… I like seeing what it is I do every day. That’s what I was trying to do, what time I get up, and what time I go to bed, and here you can see that everyone is sleeping. And this is the beginning of a new day. It’s not cold, it’s a bit warm in there, and we’re all okay. We’re all at peace.

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