I think I know almost everybody here at Casa Latina, but if I want to point out the real friends, it’s three or four. We all know each other, we all share the space, but each one has their own group. I think you end up going to those with whom there’s more trust or where you have more things to share. But I think everybody shares a beer.
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.
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.
Casa Latina has been a good connecting place ever since I first came here. They give you a connection with an employer, and if the employer has a lot of work, then it’s up to you to maintain the relationship with the employer. I wanted to have another picture at Casa Latina because it is a place where I come to meet new friends, I come to look for work, and we live here as a community.
I kept walking until I got to the city, when all of a sudden a patrol car drives by and comes to me, because they see you all dirty, disoriented, so they can spot you. He gets out and asks “Hey, where are you from, you have papers?” “No, I don’t have anything.” So he said “Come on!” and he put me in the patrol car. So he took me and once again dropped me off at the bridge.
Two times in the same day?
This picture is of boats in my town. I rode one of these boats to cross the sea to come here. I remember the moment when I hopped onto one of those boats in order to leave my town and come come here.
Esta foto es de los barcos en mi pueblo. Yo viajé en uno de esos barcos para cruzar el mar para venir aquí. Recuerdo el momento en que me subí a uno de esos barcos para salir de mi pueblo y venir aquí.
Now that I have my documents I will go back home more often. Once my kids are out on vacation, I plan to go with one or two of them. I want to be back in that peaceful place. I imagine I am there, kneeling down washing my clothes in the river, although there is no water in this picture, but I was imagining it because that’s how it used to be.
In Tijuana, where I grew up, my parents would never let us paint graffiti, but there were many mural paintings. I thought only the people of Tijuana expressed themselves in murals. But I see them a lot near Casa Latina. Murals are an expression of youth asking for something. They want to demonstrate and show themselves.
I felt like taking this photo that evening that I was eating for the first time at a buffet in the casino. In Mexico, when would you ever eat these luxury foods? Well, every once in a while you have to treat yourself.
Me dieron ganas de tomar esta foto esa noche que estaba comiendo por primera vez en un buffet en el casino. En México quién iba a creer que iba a comer estas comidas de lujo? De vez en cuando hay que darse un gusto.
This picture is like an artistic painting. It’s like something that’s moved and it is really beautiful because you see it’s like a color that is spread out, painted. It’s like a landscape. A very abstract painting.
Esta foto es como una pintura artística. Es como algo que está movido y es muy hermosa porque la ves y es como un color que está derramado, esparcido. Es como una pintura muy abstracta de un paisaje.