Out in the field farm to table dinner in California on the left, dinner in bombed out Douma, Syria on the right. People paying an arm and a leg to dine in a lush landscape on the left, volunteers coming together to feed a war-torn town in a devastated, rubble-strewn landscape on the right. I don't propose you feel uselessly guilty for our safety and privilege in America; let it instead make you generous, compassionate, and insist on opening our doors to refugees. There is room for everyone at the table in America very very literally. We do not need to slam the door in the faces of people seeking asylum. It is beneath us.
Mi Barrio 6 in #35mm
A little background on me for those of you who think you know me through word of mouth/want to know me through my own words:
As many know I was raised in the hill, Jersey City. That's where all of my childhood memories are, where I got into my first fight, my first kiss, where I learned how to jump double dutch. when my mom passed away one of my sister's moved to Union, NJ. I joined her and her family for a yr & a half. I loved UHS and the friends I made there. Shortly after a mishappening I was sent to UC, NJ, a lot closer to JC. at the time the light rail had just finished being built. do y'all know how happy I was? Very! I could visit my best friend who also lived in the hill, even more now. Irregardless of being out of the hill, I found myself there.
I didn't appreciate Union City, I was annoyed at the fact that my neighbors were all Latinos, I didn't know anyone there. I was used to being in the trenches and now I was forced to go to a "better high school" in weehakwen to keep me away from fighting, I was a hot head. That didn't stop me tho. 1st week in weehawken I got into a fight. I would go to school in pajama pants, white tees and air forces and a hand full of rings. This is what the hood taught me, and maybe the loss of my mother also added to it, be fearless. years later, after being kicked out at 18, I found myself living all over upper Hudson county. It was close to my job in NYC and the rent was cheap. I still missed the hill. I didn't appreciate my surroundings bc I was ignorant, I still was trying to fight ppl, I wanted to be the hardest. I began appreciating my surroundings just last year. Why? Because I remember my mom and sisters coming up I to UC/WNY to shop and go to church religiously. It was a comfort zone for immigrants, for latinos. I remember my mom going to la pupusa loca with her church friends and she'd also come up to watch famous bachata singers in this area. It's beautiful being integrated with your people. At 25 I'm here documenting it, appreciating the place I am living in my 20s. Although many of you may have more memories here than me I respect that, pls also respect my work.
I've had and continue to have the opportunity to work along side labor workers. I have gained such appreciation for the dedication and hard work they have. For those of you thinking immigrants are taking your jobs, how about you try this job out. A labor job in 100 degree weather that is strenuous and mentally draining. Tell me that's a job you want and was stolen from you. #immigrantsmakeamericagreat#stopbitching#vivalaraza