Identity, culture, and migration

Servando: Church Is a Safe Place

outside of a church

This church is a shelter that represents a sanctuary for us immigrants. From here, they cannot kick you out. They can kick you out from many places but not from here. It does not matter whether you go or believe in God. However, you always have to bear in mind the commandments and not to sin, or at least sin as little as possible. I go to this church from time to time, but not always. On that day, I went and decided to take the picture.

Ramón: Cactus

I’m learning photography. This is a picture of a landscape with a cactus by a guy who is a writer from my homeland, from Jalisco.

Estoy aprendiendo fotografía. Esta foto es de un paisaje con un cactus, tomada por un un hombre que es escritor allá en mi tierra, en Jalisco.

Ramón: We Laugh At Death

Day of the Dead painting

In Mexico we say that we laugh at death. We draw it and paint it and make fun of death. I think everybody is afraid of death. Well, maybe not everybody. When you are young you are scared of death, but me, I’m old and I’m not scared. I see it as very normal that one day we all have to die. So death for me is a reason to make art.

Ramón: Dawn and the Shelter

sky over street

Yes this one is at dawn. Yes, I liked how the light, I don’t know why the light is so dark because when I took the picture the sun was very bright and it was very luminous here on this side. Maybe it’s the way the picture was taken because I think I had it in manual and I didn’t know how to set it so I could not capture the scene just like I saw it but even then I like it. The sky looks very pretty. And that car there is from a friend who is right next to that coming out of his to his home. That picture is from long ago. That picture, I’ve had it for oh maybe a year or a year and a half.

Ramón: If You Delete Your Writing, Then Each Time You Start From Zero


I also like to write. I want to be a writer.

What do you write about?

I write about things I remember. Past loves, things about life, situations I’ve lived, memories of my childhood. I used to delete them all, but now I keep them. I also used to write by hand on a paper pad when I did not have a computer.

A mi también me gusta escribir. Quisiera ser escritor.

¿Y sobre qué escribe?

Carlos: Not Proud, Not Ashamed

Carlos on deck

This is the deck of my house. That is me. That's the little plant I have for decoration on my desk. I like seeing myself there on my deck. I don't feel proud or ashamed or anything.

Do you consider Seattle your home?

Yes, I know I come from El Salvador, but this is my home. I have been here for many years.

Éste es el patio de mi casa. Ése soy yo. Ésa es una plantita que tengo para decoración en mi patio. Me gusta verme allí en mi patio. No me siento orgulloso ni avergonzado ni nada.

Carlos: Taking the Bus

blurry photo of bus interior

This is a Cuban guy who takes the bus and goes downtown. He works on the ships. And so, I see him in the street a lot….
So, why did you want to take a picture of him?
Well, because he is Latino as well, and also because we speak Spanish. These are people that I know, and they are my friends. I have many friends around the city.