María: A Secure Job

antique statue

This photo is at the job that I have right now, I work in this house every week on Sundays. I really like that it is secure, every week I know I will work there for the day. There are a lot of antiques in the house. I took this photo, and when I saw it I really liked it.

Ésta es una foto en el trabajo que tengo ahora, una casa a la que voy todas las semanas los días Domingo. Me gusta que es seguro, cada semana sé que voy a trabajar allí por el día. Hay muchas antigüedades en esa casa. Tomé esa foto y cuando la ví me gustó mucho.

Juan: A Great City

outside of King Street Station at night

Seattle is a great city. There’s a lot of money here. This is where you get paid best. I have worked in Phoenix and in California, where they pay you $5 or $6 per hour, depending on the employer and the job. But here in Seattle, doing landscaping and yard work, I can make $18 to $20 an hour. The only problem is I don’t have many employers just now because I left and I came back and I am starting again here in Seattle.

Jimmy: What Do You Know How To Do?

trees covered in lights

They will ask you what do you know how to do, and if you can use the machinery he will hire you to do that work. And if you produce then he will hire you again and he will pay you. If you don’t produce, then, well that employer will say, “OK, have a good day, bye bye,” and they will not call you again.

Te preguntan qué es lo que sabes hacer, y si puedes usar la maquinaria, y te contratan para hacer el trabajo. Si produces bien te contratan otra vez y te pagan. Si no produces, pues entonces te dicen “Bye bye” y no te llaman otra vez.

Jimmy: Looking For Our Dollar

Men sitting in chairs

These are all my friends at the assembly here at Casa Latina. I’ve worked with this guy and with that guy, and with that guy, and all these people. We all get up very early to come looking for our dollar.

Estos son todos mis amigos en la asamblea aquí en Casa Latina. Yo he trabajado con éste y con éste otro, con todos ellos. Todos nos levantamos temprano cada día para venir buscando nuestro dólar.

Salomón: Prayer

Men standing around a large table

That is a prayer that is said before the meeting, so it’s part of a church where we get together. We all have a family, but I don’t have a family. They all have their families and we get together every two weeks to talk, to share, what we’re living, what we’re going through, how we’re feeling, how the family is doing and to ask God for help to keep on moving forward. I have three kids and then I got a divorce. I don’t have any family in Seattle. Or in the U.S.

Lourdes: In This Together

Four women at Casa Latina

Here in Casa Latina, our main purpose is to work. However, we are not alone because we are in this together. We come from different countries, different cultures, different places. For the past 20 years, I have lived in Seattle, but this is the first time I feel in a family. We are able to laugh, cry and tell each other things. Honestly, I thought I had a unique story because I am a victims of domestic violence. However, I have learned that there are others who have lived longer and dealt with worst. After seeing their strength, I do not think of being unique, but rather special.

Gilda: Church

Outside of a church

For the past 2 years, I have been going to this church. Before I finally went, I heard a lot about this church. Once I discovered it, I was attracted by the many migrants that go there. I go there to meet other people, so I can become involved in the community. One thing is to work, while another thing is the congregation. Also, it is so the church takes me into consideration within the community.

Maria: The Airplane

Airplane flying above

I was at the bus stop, and the airplane passed by. I remembered that after 20 years of not going to Mexico, in June of last year I went to Mexico. So when I see airplanes I feel like I’m in there going once again, and I start to cry. Every time I see one, I wish I was arriving once again in Mexico. You know what it feels like go to visit family. I now have my residency, thank God, so I am able to go back and see them.

Gilda: Thinking About Mom

People walking on sidewalk near a lake

I saw she had a walking cane and she reminded me of my mom because my mom is now 77. My mom is at the age where she needs to be taken care of. I felt I wanted to hug my mom and have her nearby. Also, I remembered that when I brought her to Seattle, I took her on walks.

Vi a esta mujer caminando con un bastón y mer recordó a mi mamá, que tiene ahora 77 años. Mi mamá está en una edad en que necesita que la cuiden. Sentí que quería abrazar a mi mamá y tenerla cerca. También recordé cuando la traje aquí a Seattle, la sacaba a caminar.

Maria: I Am There With Them

Maria, her brother, sister-in-law, and three children

This is the eldest of my brothers and my sister in law with the four nephews, the family. It had been almost 30 years since I had last seen them. Many years. They uploaded that photo to Facebook, and so I took it. They had a big meal with seafood, with very large mojarras, ceviche, shrimp… he enjoys it with his family, they come together to eat. I see them and I imagine that I am there with them. Even though I am here, I feel like I am there among them.