Identity, culture, and migration

Lupe: My Friends

These are my friends. Since we are all Mexicans we support each other, even though we don’t know each other well. We know we are in the same boat, we have the same goals. This one I know has her children in the US and she’s trying to cross because of them. We are women and we are mothers and we are Mexican, and that unites us. I was really happy to be able to take a picture for them and to see their smile, after all these terrible things that we’ve been going through. 

Lupe: Superheroes


This bus has a superhero drawn on it. When I saw it, I thought of my son. When you are a kid, you believe in superheroes and everything they do. I was thinking that we have to be strong, because superheroes don’t exist. They don’t exist. We are on our own. We have to have our own goals.
My own goal is to be with my kids. If I were a superhero, I would go flying all the way to my kids, but I can’t. That’s why I took the picture, because of that super hero.

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.

Gilda: Boats

boats at dock

This picture is of boats in my town. I rode one of these boats to cross the sea to come here. I remember the moment when I hopped onto one of those boats in order to leave my town and come come here.

Esta foto es de los barcos en mi pueblo. Yo viajé en uno de esos barcos para cruzar el mar para venir aquí. Recuerdo el momento en que me subí a uno de esos barcos para salir de mi pueblo y venir aquí.

Lourdes: He Dreams Of Doing Something Where He Can See His Kids

front of convenience store

This is a picture of this family’s place. They came here as poor migrants. This woman was looking for a job such as cleaning houses, and doing any other labor work. Also, her husband is very humble too. They both came from Mexico. He dreams of doing something where he can see his kids, where he can feed his kids, and where he can do what he loves, which is commerce.

Maria: I Cannot Go And Leave Him Behind

woman holding small child

Well, I’m from over there… but, we’re here for many different reasons, some in search of a better life, others we are here for from our families. I have a son that I can’t leave. I have him in a hospital due to an accident that he had, so I cannot go and leave him behind. If it was not for that I would have never left my children and my family, but my son was already here in the US and then he had an accident. That is why I am here.

Gilda: The Smell Of The Beach

Bare foot in sand

I wanted to smell the sand and the beach. I wanted to connect to that smell of the water, so I took my shoes and socks off because I wanted to put my feet on the sand and connect with the sand. I used to do this in my village. I felt that I was receiving all the energy of the sand. For a moment, I felt like I was free. It’s as if I was going back to the past, to how I was before I came to the US. When I take my shoes off and walk on the sand, I feel freedom.