Identity, culture, and migration

Jorge: You Don’t Just Depend on Luck, You Also Have to Have Faith

cross on wall of meeting room

This place is a church and a shelter. It represents that you have to believe in something. I don’t know how to explain it but you have to grab onto something. Some people grab on to their family, or to their job. Some people simply believe that they will do better the next day. I don’t always go to church. I go more to talk to people. Having lived here 20 years, you don’t just depend on luck. You also have to have a bit of faith. Faith is not bad. It’s luck and faith you need. Luck and faith.

Jorge: If You Get To a Place for the First Time You Have to be Decisive

early morning street in dark

Well, in this next one I wanted to show the city, also early in the morning, and it’s the city in the background. It’s Beacon Hill in the back. In facts it was one of the first neighborhoods I went to when I first arrived in Seattle, was in Beacon Hill. Without knowing anything, someone brought me there to live in their house and that's what I always remember. That was the first neighborhood I lived in.

So why is this place important for you?

Jorge: We Start Work Early, When It is Still Dark

empty dark street

I like this photo because the life of the day laborer starts early in the morning. If you want to work you have to get up very early, at least at 5 in the morning. And in the winter, this is what the day looks like. It’s dark. This picture is here at Casa Latina at 5 in the morning.


Me gusta esta foto porque la vida como jornalero comienza muy temprano. Si quieres trabajo te tienes que levantar muy de mañana, por lo menos a las 5 de la mañana. Y en el invierno así se ve, porque está oscuro a esa hora. Esta foto es aquí en Casa Latina a las 5 de la mañana.

Pedro: Selfie

photo of Pedro

I am proud of myself and of my work. I think we all have pride in our work. Like you, or me, we both have pride in our work, of something that we are, something we do. Because if we don’t have that pride then we cancel ourselves and we are nothing.


Yo estoy orgulloso de mí mismo y de mi trabajo. Creo que todos tenemos orgullo de nuestro trabajo. Como tu o como yo, ambos estamos orgullosos de nuestro trabajo, es algo que somos, algo que hacemos. Porque si no tenemos ese orgullo entonces nos cancelamos a nosotros mismos y no somos nada.

Pedro: Casa Latina is a Good Connecting Place

photo of Pedro with his phone

Well, this place, Casa Latina, has been a good connecting place ever since I first came here. They give you a connection with an employer, and then you see how things are, if the employer has a lot of jobs, a lot of work, then it’s up to you to establish a relationship and maintain the relationship with the employer. Here, I’ve had an employer and I’ve worked with him occasionally for the last three years. So I still do work with him. It’s a small business, so there’s not work every day…. Especially now in the winter, it is very slow and not a lot is going on.

Chino: Keep on Going

men in front of sign to US border

And what about this? Is this you?

Oh yeah that is me standing right next to the arrow saying to the U.S., here this way, so that is like a signal of which way I have to go.

So with what you have heard here of how difficult it is, have you thought about going back?

Chino: Now it is Morning

border wall from a distance

And here it is morning.

Yes, this is after in the morning. So here the sun is warmer and you can see this is the very same picture as the one before, I went to the same place but it is with daylight.

Oh it is the same?

Yes, it is the same. I went to the same place and took another picture and it is of the same thing that I took at night then I took it with the day.

Oh that is very nice.

So you can see there the wall and the side of the U.S. All taken from the little window in the shelter.

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