Ventura: Crossing

body of water

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?

Ventura: Always On The Move

man wearing baseball cap

I have crossed the border many times. That was my world, always on the move. I became old in that world. Had I not known Seattle, I would still be out there, going up and down on the trains. I don’t want to be in Guatemala, I want to be here. Maybe I will die here, or maybe I will die somewhere else.

Ventura: Who Knows How It Will Go?

seagull perched on railing on Seattle waterfront

If I go back to Guatemala, who knows how it will go? Here, I am undocumented, and there too. My brothers sent me my documents, and I went to the agency. I lacked a consular ID, birth certificate, a passport. I showed them my ID from the college on Broadway, but they didn’t give me anything. I went crazy because they wouldn’t give me anything. I was very sad, very depressed, abandoned, I lost my backpack, someone stole all of my documents.

Ventura: If You Don't Ask, You Die Of Hunger

street at night with headlights in distance

They handcuffed me, and put me in the back of the patrol car, they put me there in that cage, I was there about 15 days, then they transferred me to a cell, and then another cell, then another, and finally the last one was in the big house in Mexicali. That was the last cell they put me in. Then they sent me back to my country. All the way over there, so I came back again. I could not stay over there because it’s is even harder over there. Sorry to say this but over there, they will blow your head off. If you ask, they say, “Ah, get a job,“ but there are none.

Ventura: Jack Hammer

man with jack hammer

Here we have to take on work courageously, if not they will ask, “Who can use a jack hammer? Can you do it?” I said: “Yes, yes I can.” So they sent me. I have used the jack hammer only three or four times before. Once I had to break down a bench, it was the first time, and I broke it down, but I don’t have a photo of that.

Ventura: City Hall

Homeless people inside City Hall

I live there in City Hall, that is where we stay, and where we can sleep. During the day there are people who arrive to work.... I don’t know what they do, all I know is it is called City Hall. For us, all we do is sleep when we arrive. Sometimes when I make money, I don’t visit the shelter. I eat what I want, drink what I want, but when my money is spent, I go to the shelter and I get in line. In Seattle there are many places where they will feed you. But it is food that many don’t like. It’s not like buying your own

Ventura: First Day In Seattle

Entrance to Seattle Public Library

Well, that was the first day, when I arrived to Seattle, I got off the bus, and we went to the library with a friend. This is my friend, the one sitting there… It’s been about three years since I took that photo.

Bueno, eso fue el primer día cuando llegué a Seattle. Me bajé del bus y fui a la biblioteca con un amigo. Ese es mi amigo, el que está sentado allí. La biblioteca… hace ya como tres años que tomé esa foto.

Ventura: Why I Go To The Library

Cartoon with closed captioning

I always go to the library to use the translator, since I am an aficionado of English. I learn a lot of words and phrases there. I watch videos as well, but they have to have the closed captioning, otherwise I don’t like it because I don’t understand any of it. If the captioning comes up, and the person is speaking in English, that’s what I like. I want to hear the pronunciation. That’s why I go to the library

Ventura: The Library

Cafe inside the Seattle Public Libraru

There’s the library. A friend asked me, “do you want to speak with your family? I will show you how to get onto the computer,” and that’s how I got to know the library. He begged me, “let’s go to the library!” because I don’t like to read books, but one day I agreed and up to now, I’m still going there. I use the computer for the translator, and I see movies with subtitles. And sometimes I speak to my family.

Ventura: To Keep As Memories

Ventura and the interviewers

There I am I am with some friends: with you, the interviewers, you are interviewing me. Here you were showing me how to use the camera. I would like it if you send me the pictures I took to my Facebook. I have my photos there to keep as memories… Maybe one day I will be in a different place, so I just open my Facebook and I see the memories.