Blas: My Daughter

photograph of young girl

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.

Blas: Solidarity

four women at march

These are four women, all from Casa Latina, at the Martin Luther King Day March… They’re all holding hands together, the four of them, like struggling together. It was a nice picture, as part of the march and in solidarity. That made me proud of my colleagues here at Casa Latina, with their strong will, that we can all keep on moving forward together.

Blas: Each Head Is A Whole World

Demonstrators at march with signs

The march is important so that the government can listen to us. What we want is to work honestly, to bring our bread home for our families, be it here or away, to send some money to the family in Mexico or wherever they are. And each one, each head is a whole world and we’re all thinking about the same thing. We’re all thinking about work.

Blas: Taken Away

Inside of a court room

took those pictures at the Court House. That represents justice for me, that this guy is being taken away. You know, there are people who come here and rather than trying to work and to help their family, they come to hurt others and to damage others or their family or friends. Those are people who come to take away other people’s dreams. I took those pictures because they took that person who had done something wrong and they are putting him away and locking him up. This person killed a friend of ours, here from Casa Latina, to rob him maybe a bit of money.

Blas: Intimidation

two Seattle police SUVs

I took that picture downtown because sometimes, with just seeing them, the cars of the Border Patrol, you’re afraid. You wish you didn’t have to see them because they’ll ask you questions, just as a precaution. I took that picture just for the fear I have of seeing them. I was happy to be able to take the picture.

Question: Even if you’re not doing anything wrong they are intimidating?

Blas: Where I Left My Youth

red and green grapes

I took this picture because it reminded me of a small town in California where I work picking grapes for the wineries. Every time I see grapes I remember that because I picked many grapes for wine. I was 15 or 16 years old. That’s where I left my youth.

Tomé esta foto porque me recuerda de un pueblito en California donde trabajé cosechando uvas para las fábricas de vino. Cada vez que veo uvas recuerdo eso poque coseché muchas uvas para vino. Yo tenía unos 15 o 16 años. Allá es donde dejé mi juventud.

Blas: Martin Luther King Day March

Crowd holding signs

This picture is at a march on Martin Luther King Day. We went on a march for everybody. So many black people have been attacked recently by the police. They’ve been killed in other states and so we went on that march to keep them company. We’re part of them too, we march in solidarity with them because immigrants also get beaten up. I really liked this picture because when we were in front, I thought that maybe we were few. But then I looked back and I saw how many people were behind us. So then I raised my arm and took that picture.

Blas: Marching for Casa Latina

Demonstrators at march with sign

We went to that march because they are part of the community, so we can all move forward and we can all help each other. And maybe one day when it’s the workers day, they will also come and be with us so they can also support us, so we all support each other in the community. As you can see there are several of us here, there’s women, there’s men, some older, some younger, everybody joyful, keeping each other company.

Blas: Everything Is With Beans


This is a meal my friend invited me to. He had worked and I had not worked so he said “I’ll treat you, we’ll go eat something”. This dish reminds me of when we would all get together with my family, it reminds me of the red rice like the one my mom used to make. And the beef reminds of my brother, he used to make it on the coals and a put a bit of lime. It’s been a long time since I had something like this, and then beans, well you know that everything is with beans otherwise it’s no good

Blas: Indigenous Roots

Blas and Native American Woman

Mexico is a country of many cultures and many languages. Take me, for example, I speak Otomi, from Queretaro. My parents were born there, but I was born in Baja California. So [seeing this woman as a Native American] made me think of my indigenous roots. So with a lot of pride we took this picture together.