The photo is of water… every time I feel very stressed and lonely, I sit and look out to the Ocean. I like to see the seagulls and the ducks. Sometimes when I am very confused, to clear my mind I go watch the water. I have very few people to talk with. But after watching the water I leave with a whole new mentality, with other thoughts, a different feeling…
I took this photo because it is the place where I rest, where I speak my triumphs, my frustrations, my sorrows, sometimes my pain of being away from my family… it’s my home, my “love nest,” as they say, because I live alone. For me, the pillows have a special meaning because they are my partners, I share with them my sorrows, the good and the bad things that have happened to me.
In Mexico, I only did elementary school. I came here and I didn’t know what was going to happen here. I had no idea they spoke another language. That was the first thing that impacted me, the way of life… it’s very different. But I liked it, I liked the way of life, so that’s why I stayed.
En México sólo hice la escuela primaria. Vine aquí y no sabía qué iba a pasar aquí, no sabía que se hablaba otro idioma. Eso fue lo primero que me impactó, la forma de vida, que es muy diferente. Pero me gustó, me gustó esa forma de vida, y por eso me quedé.
You can use this picture in the end. I’m not going to say much about it. I was learning how to use a camera. That’s what happened, that’s why it looks that way…
So how do you see yourself?
Oh, I see I need a haircut. The thing is in the summer though you sweat a lot so in the summer I cut my hair shorter because you have to be faster. That's one of the things I learned to do here in Seattle is garden/yard work.
I want to ask you when you look at this picture who is he, happy or sad or what?
This guy I met 3 years ago here. He has his kids in Ciudad Juarez, and if he makes $100, he will send them 90 and he will live with 10. I never see him wasting his money. He prefers to eat where it’s free, but his money is sent to Mexico, to his kids. I send money to Mexico but not like him. If I want to buy a pair of shoes I buy them, but he doesn’t. He’s set in his mind on what he wants for the future. It doesn’t mean I don’t, but... I think if I’m not going to stay here, I need to do the same.
Seattle, the city of the Seahawks, is not only the one that has given me more opportunities, but also the city that has taught me the most. Here you have more opportunities to learn English, or the simple fact that you can get a driver’s license, or an ID. It’s a very big advantage. It’s also very fun to be here, there are many things can be done. I think that people here are more generous. I see it when you go out for a job from here. They take you to their homes and they trust you.
It’s another friend here at Casa Latina, he’s been here a bit longer than me, and he’s one of the first persons I met here in Seattle about 10 years ago. And we both lead the same lifestyle, we don’t have family, we’re independent. Sometimes we are lucky and we can pay rent, other times we have to go to the shelters and we both have the same lifestyle. When I was in Chicago, I had a strong addicted to drugs. We’re talking about almost 10 years ago… and it was very hard, with no family or anything. So you go through a lot when you’re alone in this country.
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?