That is a soldier. He is dressed in his uniform and he represents the training he has received. It makes me think of my training I received when I was in Guatemala. I feel that I was well-trained in my country. I could join the army here if they told me to go. I hear how the US army is fighting in Iraq and Iran and I ask myself, will I go and fight in that war?
Identity, culture, and migration
I took this picture because I’ve been in the US for years and I would be embarrassed if I did not know who was the first president of the US. I feel this is my home, and I feel like I’m from Guatemala, but this is my home too. He is the father of the nation because he was the first president. And here we are in the state of Washington that honors George Washington.
This is Seattle’s sunset. I like it when it’s getting dark, and when it’s getting light in the morning. It makes me feel all the things that we have accomplished in this country. It shows what we have reached since we come from a place where unfortunately, there is not an opportunity to prosper. I thank life because it’s a new night before the sun comes out and there is still light in the clouds and sky. This means that I am alive.
I took many pictures of the views of the city. Each time I look at the other side, I see my town. I see houses that are not buildings. I see things different than what I remember, but I need to realize that I am here. I’m on this side. I don’t identify myself with this city because it is not my root… but I am here. I need to plant my feet on the ground. This is where I live. I don’t want to lose my culture, but I have to adapt. The picture is saying ‘I am here, I am here.’
I identify myself with all this water because I feel that it’s a lake that transports me back home. I come from Livingston, Guatemala, which has a river that is connected to the sea, like here there is a sea connected to the lake. The connection between the fresh water and the salt water make this place similar to the place where I come from. So when I see water, waves or the sea, it makes me feel like I am on this side, but I want to get to the other side.
When I took this picture I was just standing, waiting for the bus, in the tunnel in Seattle. I was there thinking about the plan of my life, knowing where are you going, being present in the moment that you’re in, not being blocked by obstacles.
Cuando tomé esta foto estaba parado esperando el bus, en el túnel de Seattle. Yo estaba ahí pensando sobre el plan de mi vida, sabiendo hacia dónde voy, estando presente en el momento presente, no me sentía bloqueado por obstáculos.
This is a picture of the flag of my country of origin. I carry my flag wherever I go. It has millions of people who are around it. It contains all the people from Mexico who live in Seattle. For me, it is a combination of being proud where you made it, and also remembering where your roots are from, remember where you come from so you never deny the soil that saw your birth.
When I saw that place, I imagined myself in my village, on the farm, when you go out to the open fields to prepare the earth for work. This is here, over by Tukwila somewhere, you always remember, it feels like where the stream ran by my home. I miss that place a lot. Everything from over there in Mexico, being with my family. But oh well, we have to be here…
What characterizes La Plata Bahía Málaga as an ancestral territory of our black community is that the population has been here since 1624. This community is the expression of the expansion and territorial appropriation of that black community, initially on the islands and then on the mainland, and its path to improve the living conditions of its people.