María: My Daughters

Maria and daughters siting in chairs

My daughters were born and raised here. It’s a different culture. They don’t know their other brothers and sisters who live in Mexico. They say “Yes, yes mom, they are your children and they are over there in Mexico.” I say “daughter, call your sister,” and they say, “nah, why… I really don’t know her.” Can you believe that? Because some of them don’t know them in person, and well, it’s difficult for me to convince them.

Maria: I Love Myself

Old photo of Maria

Well that is me, but that was many years ago… So many that the photo is even blurred. I appreciate my time, my life, the way that I have lived it. Even though I am a single mother, I have lived my life with my children, which are the most important thing for me, and for most moms, I think. Our children are most important. I was pregnant in that picture with one of my children. I really like that picture. I love myself- if I don’t love myself, who will love me?

Gilda: Roots

Gilda lying down

Where are your roots?
Wow. That’s a very strong question. My roots… I carry my roots with me, you know? It’s because I’m always thinking about my grandparents, and my parents. My parents brought me into this world. Also, they raised me and taught me many things. Also, I think of my grandparents and ancestors. This is a root. This helps me to continuously move forward by working. Wherever I go, I feel that my roots are with me. I carry them with me.

Gilda: My Nephew

Gilda and small child

This is my nephew. In 2012, I lost a baby. During this time, my sister was pregnant and she had her baby. In my family, I am the only one who didn’t have kids. When this child was born, I identified myself with him. He has the most tender hug that I have ever felt. That is why I brought this picture… because he is part of me.

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.

Salomón: Helping Others

Picture of Salomon

The work that I am doing contributes to other people’s lives. I want others to see people who are not hiding but who can go show themselves. And also struggle and say ‘Yes we can,’ and prepare ourselves and work to take different type of actions because just having a job, or two jobs, or three jobs is not enough. You need to develop yourself as a person.

Salomón: The March

Demonstrators with sign

This is Casa Latina; it’s the demonstration, at the march. I see people, workers who get together every day with the purpose of getting a job, but also to contribute, to have the voices of each one of us heard. That it’s not just like people think that we are, that we’re here to take other people’s jobs. No, we want jobs and we want to contribute something.

Jimmy: Atmosphere

People sitting at Casa Latina

Casa Latina is gold for me, because from here I started, and I have also helped myself. I have learned the language, it has given me an understanding of many things that I didn’t use to have. I know when somebody new comes here they are helped a lot.

María: Breakfast

Statue at Casa Latina

This represents my breakfast, because we come here to Casa Latina and we leave with no work, then we go to this place and we have breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal, some juice, a doughnut, something to start the day with breakfast. We arrive there, we ask for a ticket, and we go have breakfast. They’ve also told us that we can come during the mid-day and have a meal.