Pedro Infante: Getting to be Number One on the List

man standing on outdoor plaza

He is a fellow work partner from here, and I have known him a long time, so he allowed me to take a photo of him.

And why did you take a picture of him?

Because he is very helpful: I have known him a while, he hangs around here in the streets, he survives in the streets. I think this is why.

He survives in the streets?

Mm hmm, and he works here at Casa Latina.

Ok, and you work here at Casa Latina, right?

Yes, when there is work.

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: Dreams

seagulls on rocks at beach

Dreams advise me of things that will happen, and I give thanks to God and appreciate very much this country and the people that have helped me, people that have given me work. I know I will be happy in my country because I leave fulfilled, happy.

Mis sueños me avisan de lo que me va a suceder en el momento, y le doy gracias a Dios y agradezco mucho a este país y la gente que me ha dado la mano, la gente que me ha dado trabajo. Yo sé que voy a ser feliz en mi país porque me voy realizada, contenta.

Beatriz: Seagulls Fight

seagulls on rocks at beach

I went to the beach looking for something new. I saw a seagull that pulled a crab and started to eat it, and another seagull arrived and they started to fight for the food. I realized that humans are like animals, that when they have suffered for their survival, they will fight to maintain it.

Beatriz: I’ve Worked for Her for 5 Years

blurred photo of bed in bedroom

My employer in this house is very particular about how she wants her house cleaned and her bed done. I clean very thoroughly, and she likes my work. So if it were not for that bed, and the way in which I tend to it, I would not have this job. I believe I have this job because of how I work and clean, the special touch, the delicate approach, whatever nice thing about it she likes. I have worked with her for 5 years now.

Beatriz: Because of This Room, I Still Have a Job

blured photo of bedroom floor

That is a ‘room’ of theirs, and I took it because for her, it is a special thing that I clean here … because if this room, I still have a job. When I couldn’t work, I would tell her, ‘just call Casa Latina,’ and she would tell me, ‘Beatriz, when you can’t come and I call for others, none of them do it the way you do.’ One time she called here and asked, ‘Is Beatriz there,’ because I told her, call me on my cell phone, but she said she lost it, or it was erased. I think she was just not paying attention and she wrote down the wrong number.

Beatriz: The Kitchen Table

kitchen table

My children all know how to iron, do laundry and cook, because I taught them. This is one of the things I learned from my parents, and my parents learned from my grandparents…So there is no need to come to the US to change one’s ideas or ways of being.

Mis hijos todos saben cómo planchar, lavar y cocinar, porque yo les enseñé. Ésta es una de las cosas que aprendí de mis padres, y mis padres aprendieron de mis abuelos... Así que no hay ninguna necesidad de venir a los Estados a cambiar nuestras ideas o formas de vida.

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: Casa Latina

women in chairs at Casa Latina

I took this photo because despite the bad things I have experienced here, I also experienced good things. When I first came here I suffered a lot because I didn’t know anyone, and it was a difficult situation. But later on there was Vero here at Casa Latina and I learned so much from her. She had so much patience, she treated us with equality, and we felt good. And some of us women have learned to speak English, and this is why I took this photo because for me, it has a little bit of everything.