Family and community

Beatriz: I Hope They Learn

seagulls on rocks at beach

People come here with a wrong image, they think it’s very easy to make money. When I first arrived in this country I worked in a fishing plant for two years, and every night I would got to my room and stand in the shower and cry. What you have to go through is terrible.

Las personas vienen aquí con la imagen equivocada, creen que es muy facilito hacer dinero. Cuando primero llegué a este país trabajé en una pescadería por dos años, y cada noche al llegar a mi cuarto me metía a la ducha a llorar. Lo que tienes que vivir es terrible.

Beatriz: The Toys I Clean Up

child's toys on carpet

Yes, it’s the house of my first boss and that’s the kid’s toys. It’s all a mess when I arrive, and I hardly see her, I only see the mess in the house, and I care for her a lot because if she see that I am sad she worries. Um, I had a car accident and she was there for me, asked what she could do for me, and I care for her a lot … a lot. She has two daughters, and even though I have not had extensive communication with her over the last 5 years I have worked with her, but when she was pregnant, she was home more. Now the kids are grown, walking and she takes them to school.

Beatriz: It’s Not the News, It’s English

tv screen and piggy bank

This isn’t the news, it’s an English class because when there are things I don’t understand, I go and I put on a CD. I have struggled a lot with English because I didn’t have a formal education in my country. I never had the idea that I would come to this country. But I’m here and I need English so I strive to learn. I am understating the verbs and via the smart phone I have learned grammar, and to write better in Spanish.

Beatriz: The Ocean I Watch

alki beach

The photo is of water… every time I feel very stressed and lonely, I sit and look out to the Ocean. I like to see the seagulls and the ducks. Sometimes when I am very confused, to clear my mind I go watch the water. I have very few people to talk with. But after watching the water I leave with a whole new mentality, with other thoughts, a different feeling…

Beatriz: My Bed

pillow and comforter on bed

I took this photo because it is the place where I rest, where I speak my triumphs, my frustrations, my sorrows, sometimes my pain of being away from my family… it’s my home, my “love nest,” as they say, because I live alone. For me, the pillows have a special meaning because they are my partners, I share with them my sorrows, the good and the bad things that have happened to me.

Jorge: He Sends All His Money to His Kids

man standing on sidewalk

This guy I met 3 years ago here. He has his kids in Ciudad Juarez, and if he makes $100, he will send them 90 and he will live with 10. I never see him wasting his money. He prefers to eat where it’s free, but his money is sent to Mexico, to his kids. I send money to Mexico but not like him. If I want to buy a pair of shoes I buy them, but he doesn’t. He’s set in his mind on what he wants for the future. It doesn’t mean I don’t, but... I think if I’m not going to stay here, I need to do the same.

Jorge: I Like Seattle

newspaper with Seahawk photo

Seattle, the city of the Seahawks, is not only the one that has given me more opportunities, but also the city that has taught me the most. Here you have more opportunities to learn English, or the simple fact that you can get a driver’s license, or an ID. It’s a very big advantage. It’s also very fun to be here, there are many things can be done. I think that people here are more generous. I see it when you go out for a job from here. They take you to their homes and they trust you.

Jorge: We All Make Our Own Decisions

men in chairs at Casa Latina

It’s another friend here at Casa Latina, he’s been here a bit longer than me, and he’s one of the first persons I met here in Seattle about 10 years ago. And we both lead the same lifestyle, we don’t have family, we’re independent. Sometimes we are lucky and we can pay rent, other times we have to go to the shelters and we both have the same lifestyle. When I was in Chicago, I had a strong addicted to drugs. We’re talking about almost 10 years ago… and it was very hard, with no family or anything. So you go through a lot when you’re alone in this country.