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ILLUMINATION: 2021-2022 Exhibit

Springfield History Museum exhibit, December 10, 2021 - February 12, 2022

Exhibit 2021-2022

Rosalba Rodriguez, ILLUMINATION Photo Credit: Ofelia Guzman

The land we call Springfield today is home to more than 60,000 residents, all of whom have unique personal and ancestral stories and experiences that contribute to our collective history, and our rich, multicultural present. ILLUMINATION invites us to explore and discover more about our neighbors, our forebears, and perhaps a little more about ourselves along the way.

La tierra que hoy llamamos Springfield es hogar de más de 60,000 residentes; todos los cuales tienen historias y experiencias personales y ancestrales únicas que contribuyen a nuestra historia colectiva y a nuestro rico presente multicultural. ILLUMINATION nos invita a explorar y descubrir más sobre nuestros vecinos, nuestros antepasados y quizás un poco más sobre nosotros mismos. 

Maria Divina Estrada, ILLUMINATION, Photo Credit: Ofelia GuzmanThe Springfield History Museum commissioned photographer Ofelia Guzman and community organizer Johanis Tadeo to collaborate on the development of a collection of photographs and oral histories of contemporary Springfield residents. This collection was showcased together with stories of immigrants from the existing Museum collection, illuminating a common shared experience of residents past and present.

El Museo de la Historia de Springfield encargó a la fotógrafa Ofelia Guzmán y al organizador Johanis Tadeo que colaboraron en el desarrollo de una colección de fotografías e historias orales de los residentes contemporáneos de Springfield. Se exhibió esta colección nueva junto con historias de inmigrantes que vienen de la colección existente del Museo, iluminando una experiencia común compartida de residentes pasados y presentes. 

The exhibit was featured during 2nd Friday Art Walks with projections and music. This project was made possible by the support of the Springfield Utility Board (SUB), the City of Springfield City Manager’s Office, the City of Springfield Committee for Diversity & Inclusion, and Springfield Arts Commission.

Se invitó a la comunidad a celebrar la exhibición durante las caminatas de artes del segundo viernes con proyecciones de fotografías y música. Este proyecto fue posible gracias al apoyo de el Springfield Utility Board (SUB), la Oficina de la Administradora de la Ciudad de Springfield, el Comité de Diversidad e Inclusión de la Cuidad de Springfield y la Comisión de Artes de Springfield.

Visit http://www.springfield-museum.com/illuminations/ for complete stories and videos.

Para escuchar las historias completas y se puede ver los videos visitar http://www.springfield-museum.com/illuminations/.

 

2021 - 2022 Stories

Rosalba Rodríguez - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Hello everyone, my name is Rosalba Rodriguez. I am from Puebla, Mexico. There is a lot of industry in making [denim] pants in Puebla. The culture there, when you grow up, they raise you to work in the house as well as school. The women had to learn to work in the kitchen, wash dishes, work in the mill, make tortillas. When I was little and with the other girls, we had to learn to embroider dresses and clothes with just a needle and thread. We would go and sell these dresses to survive. It was a business. When I moved to the U.S., I stopped doing all that.

I moved to the U.S for necessity. My brother passed away in an accident, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to save his life. My mother sold everything [but even though we ended up in debt we still couldn't save his life…] I had a child with an older man, 10 years older than me. He was a teacher, and he wanted me to abort my child, which I refused. I started selling food to provide for my son, and put him ahead, and well, I was still struggling and in debt to provide for him. So, I had to make a choice and leave my child in Mexico and come to the U.S. to provide for him. It took me two months to cross, and it was very sad to see parents and their children at the border where they have to separate or lose their children and only end up with one. I watched people get swept away by the river. It was very sad. There were armed men who stopped the bus [I was on], and pointed their guns, and said to give them a number in the U.S. to call in order to be released… After many days, I finally arrived here, and well, one of the issues I had was the language barrier. When I would see a police officer, I would run or cross to the other street. I used to think they were Immigration and didn't know the difference at the time…

Rosalba Rodríguez - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"… I didn't have a license, and I went to take my boss home. A police officer stopped me, and I asked him why he pulled me over. First, he said because I didn't make a stop, then he said I didn't put my signal at the light… He gave me a ticket for $4,000 dollars and arrested me and put the handcuffs extremely tight…it left a mark. He didn't ask me for registration, and I told him I am not a criminal. I begged him, if I could call my daughter and [she] can give you [my] ID that's at home, but he refused. I felt like a criminal… After investigating, I looked up the stop and it said that they only made contact with a person walking, saying that they could not be there like a trespass… Later on, I went to a forum about police and drivers licenses to learn about resources, where I met Johanis Tadeo and SAfER (Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect). He asked me if I would be willing to speak in a meeting and share my story. I agreed…and who would have known that the police chief was there. I was paralyzed with fear. I couldn't stand, and that's when Johanis grabbed my hands and said, if you don't want to go in you don't have to there's still time to leave…he gave me the support I needed, and I went in the room. SAfER said what [the officer] did was not just, and they advocated for me… At this time, I knew that I was not the only one that this happens to, and thanks to SAfER we were able to create a group named Escudo Latino, a group that provides resources and support to situations that are unjust...

As an immigrant…we all have lost something. This year my mother passed away. I couldn’t go see her. I only got to speak one last time on the phone. One phone call in her last moments… I was left with the last hug she gave me on the day I left to come to the United States and the last kiss she gave me on the forehead. This hug and this kiss back in 2004. If we are here, it’s because of necessity. It’s not because we wanted to be here to see what it was like. It’s not on a whim that we come. We come here to work so that our children in Mexico can have a better future. So that our families in Mexico can have a better future. In Mexico it’s so much worse for those who aren’t wealthy. If there are abuses here, imagine how much worse it could be in Mexico. There, employers are so abusive. They don’t let you leave work until you’ve finished all the jobs that they think you should. They pay you next to nothing. This is why immigrants come here."

Rosalba Rodríguez - Español (1)

Fotografía: Ofelia Guzman Photography, otoño 2021.

El siguiente es un resumen de una entrevista con Johanis Tadeo, coleccionista de historias de ILLUMINATION, otoño de 2021:

"Hola, muy buenos días a todos. Mi nombre es Rosalba Rodríguez. Soy de México, del estado de Puebla… Hay mucha industria en hacer el pantalón. La cultura de nuestros ancestros… los niños como van creciendo van ensenando lo que tiene que hacer, los quehaceres no nada más la escuela… [L]as mujeres tenemos que aprender hacer lavar los trastes, hacer de la cocina, ir al molino, hacer tortillas… [E]n mi niñez me toco bordar vestidos con la obra de mano. Todas las niñas tenemos que vender vestidos bordados. Pagaban bien. Eran negocios. Cuando yo me vine pa’acá (los EEUU) me dejo de hacer eso.

Y el motivo que me trajo aquí fue necesidad. Falleció un hermano en un accidente y no pudo salvar la vida… [M]i madre vendió todo que tenía… Con el tiempo tuve un bebe con un hombre que tenía 10 años más que yo, era abogado, pero cuando supo estaba embarazada quiso que yo abortara y no quise. Así que hice lo que pude, vendí comida y saqué mi hijo adelante. Ya las deudas estaban altas ya no podía más y quise una mejor vida para mi hijo y me vine a este país. Me costó casi dos meses para pasar. En este transcurso de las pasadas es muy triste ver cuando vienen madres con sus hijos, a veces tiene que separarse de so hijos y se encuentre madres que no podrían reunirse con sus hijos, que estaban perdidos y se quedan con solo un hijo. Mire como el agua que se llevaba las personas. Me tocaron a mí que hombres armados nos bajaron de una camioneta y nos dijeron que les dieron un número de teléfono en los EEUU para liberarnos… Después de eso de tanto batallar Estuve aquí. A llegar aquí otra dificultad fue el idioma que no entendí… Me escondí de la policía porque no sabía la diferencia entre la policía y la inmigración...

Rosalba Rodríguez - Español (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"[N]o tenia una licencia y un día vine a traer mi jefa… Me paró la policía y yo le pregunte porque me ha parado y me dijo que yo no hice el “stop” … y no me entendía con él porque no hable el idioma. La multa que me puso fue $4,000 y la verdad las esposas que me puso me puso bien socadas que me quedaron marcados… No me pidió registración y le dije que no soy criminal. Le pedí si podría llamar a mi hija para traer mi identificación y me dijo que no. Me llevaron a las oficinas me tomaron huellas y me tomaron fotografía y me senti verdaderamente como criminal… Después investigue por internet y mi hija dijo que no había nada… encontré la reporte y dijo que solamente hicieron contacto con una persona caminando y que solo lo dijieron que no debe estar allí… Cuando yo fue a un foro de licencias qye yo conocía Johanis Tadeo y SAfER. Él se interesó en mi historia y me pregunto de lo que había pasado y si yo quisiera compartir mi historia con un comité. Yo no sabia de que comité era y dije que si. Bueno, mi sorpresa fue que el comité fue mero de la ciudad y allí estaba el jefe de la policía. Cuando yo lo vi me quede imovil… Tenia miedo y él [Johanis] me agaro de las manos y me dijo que todavía tiene tiempo si no quieres entrar no entres, pero se puede hacer algo. Él me dio tanta confianza y apoyo que entré. SAfER dijo de lo que hizo la policía en mi caso no fue justo y advocaron por mi… Yo no soy la única, como yo hay muchas personas que han sido abusados por las autoridades. Gracias a SAfER formamos un grupo llamado Escudo Latino para la justicia.

Como inmigrante…tenemos perdidas. Este año falleció mi madre. No la pude ir a ver. Solo por teléfono una llamada. Una llamada que espere tanto… me quede con el ultimo abrazo que me dio cuando yo me vine para acá y el beso en la frente. Ese abrazo y ese ultimo beso de 2004. Si estamos aquí es por necesidad. No por gusto. Venimos a trabajar para que nuestros hijos en México tengan un futuro mejor. Para que nuestras familias tengan un futuro mejor. En México, si aquí hay abusos, imagínense en México. En México es peor tantito. Los empleadores son abusivos, no te dejan salir si no terminas una tarea. Te pagan poco. Es por eso que hay tanta gente aquí…"

María Divina-Estrada - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"My name is María Divina-Estrada, and…I…was raised in Puebla de Guerrero, Oaxaca. I want to share my story of our culture and where we come from and what we do in the field. Over there, I was raised in the fields where we grow corn, sugar cane and many other things like bananas, and other fruit trees and then we survive. Over there we were poor. Everything that came out of the field is what we would eat and share with the family…. We [were] proud to be there even though we were poor, that's where we were happy. To be in the field, and build and cultivate and pick apples and [farm] sugar cane, I did a lot of things and I learned a lot of things about the fields… All the things that have to do with farming: beans, pumpkin, milpa, peanuts and almost everything…how to cultivate, I am not embarrassed to learn because this is the way of life, and if others don't know how to work in the fields, know that anyone can do this, especially to learn how to grow food and survive...

I moved to the U.S when I was in Mexico City, when my son called and said that he helped me get my papers and said I have to go to the United States. At certain times I would be very sad, because I didn't want to move to a country I don't know… Once I got [to the United States], I became very sad. After some time, I wanted to explore but unfortunately, I had to stay inside because I didn't know anything about [the country]. My son told me to take the bus and explore, but it was very difficult. Who do I talk to? Little by little I started learning and started opening up, of course with fear. I didn't know English or how to say certain things. I started to make friends, and they would help. Luckily I had them, because a lot of people don't help. [After some] months here, I started to build more confidence and ask and kinda started to find my way. I would see other Spanish speakers and they were kind and would help me find my way and told me it's okay to ask questions… My first son is the one who helped me get my papers, and little by little my children started to come to Oregon, and I started to feel a lot better here. Luckily I have all my children here, and now have grandchildren. I will now have 25 years here...

María Divina-Estrada - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"I love to embroider clothes and blankets. I don't do it anymore since I am tired all the time, but I do make napkins and other small things every now and then. To fix pants or clothes, I would do them. I would make my children's clothes so they could have something to wear… I have a lot of embroidery. My grandson has sent me a picture of roses, and I sewed it on pillowcases. I like to make things that are bright and that I could share with my grandkids. My daughter also knows a lot about the traditions and embroidery. I am very proud of all my kids. My eldest son, [I am] very proud of him and all the things he has done, but unfortunately he didn't have a childhood or much of a life that was his. He grew up like a father and a husband you can say, because he was always doing the work that a father should be doing to provide for his family. It is very sad, but I am very proud of [him] for all [he has] done for me and the family.

Here I have a picture that gives me joy and sadness. I have a grandson in this picture who is not here anymore, but I am very proud and love him so much, that I got to meet him, and I'm grateful to still be here to meet folks. One thing I would like to say is that I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and their family, because you never know when the time will come and we are no longer around. I love seeing my family when we're all together, and sad when a family member is no longer around. Please value your family, nephews, cousins, parents, please value your family. I love my family and appreciate them."

Rosie Hernández - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"My name is Rosie Hernández… [I was born] in the state of Oaxaca in a very small valley in the middle of the mountains, and I grew up on a ranch. Later we moved to Mexico City [where] I continued my schooling. There, I got married and came to the United States. Going back to the valley where I was born, I come from farmer parents to farmer grandparents learning to live in a land and work the land… We are people of the land, just like our grandparents taught us. We have to take care of the land and cultivate so that we can eat and have our healing medicinal plants, and I learned a lot from my grandparents and my grandmother… [I] learned how to heal using healing plants and home remedies. My grandfather and my father also taught me a lot about working on the field, planting corn, the sugar cane, the coffee is what is cultivated and the source of bringing money to the house.

Years passed and I got married and moved to the United States. [It was] like an adventure at first, and here is where we stayed. We moved to Red Bluff California, northern California, where my two sons were born. We started to work as migrant workers and work from ranch to ranch, in the fields and apple orchards… [W]e traveled to Chelan and Wenatchee Washington to work in the apple orchard, and then moving back to California.

When we arrived in Red Bluff, it was a small town. Not knowing the place nor the language and not having the understanding of the town, my husband started working in the fields cutting trees and wood. This work was very hard. He had to wake up at 1 a.m to be ready for his ride to the fields. Sometimes he would wait two or three hours till 2 a.m or 3 a.m waiting for his ride, even though he was ready at 1. The transportation was also very rough for him and others that were working as well. They would take them in trucks without a cover in the back. They each had to bring their own blanket to stay warm and protect themselves from the air, and they had to drive 1 or 2 hours… They would arrive at the fields only to encounter another obstacle: in those times there were a lot of rattlesnakes, it was very dangerous. They always had to be careful to not get bitten, as well as other risks that they had to worry about in the mountains...

Rosie Hernández - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"This was a form of survival, because we didn't have the understanding of living here in this country. Like when we were working, I had my first child. I didn't work at that time. I didn't know where to work at that time. I was scared. I couldn't even leave the apartment in Red Bluff that I lived in-if I left, it was for purchases that were necessary and what we needed. If there was a police officer I would hide and run to my house however I could. The fear was intense… people would say, ‘if the police find you then they’ll call Immigration and they're going to deport you back and you're going to be in jail.’ So, the fear of being in jail. The fear of having a child, a baby and being in jail. What’s going to happen to my child, what’s going to happen to my husband? Where are they going to take me? What are they going to do to me? It's a tremendous fear...

We went around August to go work temporarily. The first time was very difficult, because we only had one vehicle that was very old. We only had the things in the car that we needed and [were] necessary. For instance, like the blankets, one pan to cook. A cup, a plate. It wasn't enough. Basically, live in the moment and eat the minimum of what we could. We went to the ranch in Washington, and there was no place to live. There were little, small trailers. We sometimes had to sleep in the car with a small baby. It was very cold. Pardon me. It was very cold, very difficult being in the car, it was just a small seat with the baby. Finally, an elderly woman who also had a small trailer with 6 people already living inside, she allowed me to sleep with the baby inside. So then my husband slept in the car. For the moment, it was better for the baby and I."

Rosie Hernández - Español (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Mi nombre es Rocío Hernández (Nací) en el estado de Oaxaca en un valle muy chico en medio de las montañas. Nací y crecí en un rancho. Después nos volvimos a la ciudad de México (donde) continué la escuela. Allí me casé y me vine a los Estados Unidos. Volviendo al valle dónde nací, yo vengo de padres agricultores, de abuelos agricultores aprendiendo a vivir en una tierra, y al cultivarla… Somos gente de la tierra, como nos abuelos nos enseñó. Tenemos que cuidar la tierra y cultivar para que para que nos dé de comer, y tener nuestras plantas medicinales curativas, y me aprendí mucho de mi abuelita. Aprendí cómo curar usando plantas curativas y remedios caseros. Mi abuelo y mi padre también me enseñaron mucho sobre trabajar en el campo, sembrar maíz, caña de azúcar, el café es lo que se cultivaba y la fuente de traer el dinero a la casa.

Pasaron los años ​​y me casé y me mudé a los Estados Unidos. Fue como una aventura al principio, y aquí es donde nos quedamos. Nos mudamos a Red Bluff, California, al norte de California, donde nacieron mis dos hijos. Empezamos hacernos trabajadores migrantes y trabajamos de rancho en rancho, en el campo hechas de la manzana. Viajamos a Chelan y Wenatchee Washington para trabajar en el huerto de manzanas y luego nos mudamos de regreso a California.

Cuando llegamos a Red Bluff era un pueblo pequeño. Sin conocer el lugar ni el idioma y sin tener el conocimiento del pueblo, mi esposo comenzó a trabajar en los campos cortando árboles y madera. Este trabajo fue muy duro. Tenía que despertarse a la una de la madrugada para estar listo para su viaje al campo. A veces esperaba dos o tres horas hasta las dos o tres de la madrugada esperando su transporte, a pesar de que estaba listo a la 1. El transporte también era muy difícil para él y los otros trabajadores también. Los llevarían en camiones sin tapa en la parte trasera. Cada uno tenía que traer su propia manta para mantenerse abrigados y protegerse del aire, y tenían que conducir 1 o 2 horas ... Llegaban a los campos solo para encontrar otro obstáculo: en esos tiempos había muchas serpientes de cascabel, eran muy peligrosos. Siempre debían tener cuidado de no ser mordidos, además de otros riesgos y tenían que preocuparse por la montaña...

Rosie Hernández - Español (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Esta fue una forma de supervivencia, porque no entendemos cómo vivir aquí en este país. Como cuando estábamos trabajando, tuve mi primer hijo. No trabajé en ese momento. No sabía dónde trabajar en ese momento. Estaba asustada. Ni siquiera podía dejar el apartamento en Red Bluff en el que vivía; si me iba, era para las compras que eran necesarias y lo que necesitábamos. Si hubiera un oficial de policía, me escondería y correría a mi casa como pudiera. El miedo era intenso ... la gente decía, 'si la policía te encuentra, llamarán a inmigración y te deportarán de regreso y estarás en la cárcel'. ¿Qué le pasará a mi hijo? ¿Qué le pasará a mi marido? ¿A donde me van a llevar? ¿Qué me van a hacer? Es un miedo tremendo...

Alrededor de agosto fuimos para ir a trabajar temporalmente. La primera vez fue muy difícil, porque solo teníamos un vehículo que era muy viejo. Solo teníamos las cosas en el carro que necesitábamos y eran necesarias. Por ejemplo, como mantas, una sartén para cocinar, una taza, un plato. No fue suficiente. Básicamente, vivimos el momento y comimos lo mínimo que podamos. Fuimos al rancho en Washington y no había lugar para vivir. Había pequeños tráileres. A veces teníamos que dormir en el carro con un niño pequeño. Hacía frío. Perdóname. Hacía mucho frío, era muy difícil estar en el auto, era solo un pequeño asiento con un bebé. Al final, una anciana que también tenía un pequeño tráiler con 6 personas viviendo adentro, me permitió dormir con el bebé adentro. Entonces mi esposo durmió en el carro. Por el momento, era mejor para el bebé y para mí."

Mark Molina - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"My name is Mark Molina and I have been living here in Springfield since 1995. [B]oth of the great grandfathers on both sides immigrated from Mexico. And so I'm third generation American…[B]oth of my parents died early. My father was in the US Air Force. He served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. They both grew up there and were born in the Great Depression era. They grew up in a segregated America… [I]t was a different time for the Latino community in America, because they were being forced to choose. They were being forced to choose either their culture or an opportunity to an education to have a future…

…[M]y mother [was] our den mother in Scouts. That was a unique time because she was a woman. She was Latina. And here she was serving all these families as a den mother because quite frankly, we didn't have any fathers who would do it so my mother stepped up to get it done. But when I took over as cub master for Maple Elementary…half of the parents pulled their kids out of the Cub Scout pack because they said they didn't want some Mexican trying to teach their child how to be a…Cub Scout. So [that] was pretty difficult time for me personally, to have to still be hearing that all these years later, the things that hurt as a child, seeing that being replayed out in this community. And it was hard to watch all those parents walk out of those meetings taking their kids out. But I had to remember that half the parents stayed. And I needed to focus on the parents and the children that stayed, that was something that was really important…

Mark Molina - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Now my father's parents, Grandpa and Grandma Molina, we would spend a lot of time with them… We loved going over there, we went every Sunday as a family to have dinner together typical Latino style: all the sons would come with their wives and their kids and on Friday nights, all the grandkids would go to sit with Grandma Molina, and we would watch Lucha Libre wrestling. And she would make big stacks of flour tortillas and we watched and it was an amazing time. And she was so excited, she'd be screaming until the doctor said, ‘it's not good for your heart…you're getting too old to watch wrestling…because you're getting too excited.’ Right?...

So maybe I got off on a tangent, but these stories are important. These are alive stories. These are American stories… No one Latino person can speak for Latino community because it's broad. It's vast, it's deep. It has so many pockets of expertise and skill and just culture and family. And so, who is my community? I'd like to think that this entire city is my community. I like to think that this entire city is my home. I'd like to believe that this place, this city called Springfield Oregon, it belongs to me as much as it belongs to anyone else and belongs to you all the new generation of young Latino residents and leaders and community activists and business owners, right. This belongs to all of us…"

Mark Molina - Español (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Mi nombre es Mark Molina y he vivido en Springfield desde 1995. Ambos bisabuelos de los dos lados de mi familia inmigraron de México. Soy de la tercera generación estadounidense. Mis dos padres se fallecieron joven. Mi padre sirvió en las Fuerzas Aéreas de los Estados Unidos. Sirvió en la guerra de Correa y la guerra de Vietnam. Mis dos padres se crecieron en los Estados Unidos y se nacieron durante la era de la gran depresión. Crecieron en un América con la segregación racial. Fue un tiempo diferente para la comunidad latina porque se les forzaron a escoger. Se les forzaron a escoger su propia cultura o la oportunidad para una educación para tener una futura….

Mi madre [fue] la líder de nuestro grupo de los Boy Scouts. Fue una época única porque ella era mujer. Era Latina. Y estaba sirviendo a muchas familias como la líder de Scouts porque, en realidad, no había ni un padre que lo hiciera entonces mi madre lo hizo. Pero cuando yo como padre dio mi tiempo como líder de Cub Scouts en la escuela de Maple…la mitad de los padres sacaron a sus hijos del grupo porque dijeron que no quisieron un mexicano tratando de ensenar a sus hijos como ser un Cub Scout. Fue una época muy difícil para mi personalmente, para tener que oír después de muchos años, las cosas que me hirieron cuando era niño, y ver las pasar otra vez en la comunidad. Y fue tan difícil ver todos estos padres salir con sus hijos de la junta. Y tuve que enfocar en los padres y los niños que quedaron, fue lo más importante…

Mark Molina - Español (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Ahora, los padres de mi padre, abuelo y abuela Molina, paseamos mucho tiempo con ellos…nos encantaba visitarles, íbamos todos los domingos como familia para cenar juntos en el estilo latino: todos los hijos llegaron con sus esposas e hijos y los viernes por la noche, todos los nietos sentaban con la abuela Molina para ver Lucha Libre. Ella hacia montones de tortillas de harina y mirábamos y siempre fue una visita increíble. Y ella estaba tan emocionada que gritaba hasta que su doctor le dijo ‘no es bueno para el corazón…ya eres demasiado viejita para ver lucha libre porque te estás emocionando demasiado.’ ¿Verdad? 

Así que tal vez me salí por la tangente, pero estas historias son importantes. Estas son historias vivas. Estas son historias estadounidenses…Ninguna persona latina puede hablar por la comunidad latina porque es amplia. Es vasto, es profundo. Tiene tantos focos de experiencia y habilidad y cultura y familia. Y entonces, ¿Quién es mi comunidad? Quisiera creer que la cuidad entera es mi comunidad. Quisiera pensar que la cuidad entera es mi hogar. Quisiera creer que este lugar, esta ciudad, llamada Springfield Oregón, que me pertenece tanto a mi como cualquier otra persona y le pertenece a toda la nueva generación de latinos jóvenes: residentes, activistas comunitarios y dueños de negocios, ¿verdad? Esta comunidad nos pertenece a todos…"

Anita Rojas - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"My name is Anita Rojas. I am Chicana and I was born in L.A. but then when I was a baby I was brought to Mexico, and so I was raised in Mexico in a very traditional way. I grew up in the mountains with my maternal grandmother, several uncles and their children. It was a very close tight community with family only. And some of my memories back then…it was really amazing because as I think back, what that life was like, it was really hard because we grew everything. We grew our corn, beans. We had a lot of cows and I remember one year milking like 80 cows. So that was a lot of work. Then we made cheese and butter and all kinds of things. A lot of work for the men, the women, and even the children… we didn’t eat that much meat otherwise. We just ate a lot of the things that grew around us.

I remember there being money, but money was not exchanged really for the things we needed to eat because everything came out of the ground. There were these bulbs we dug out, they looked like potatoes. You grated them, threw it in a bucket with water and you just mixed it and it was really foamy and that was our shampoo, that was our soap for the dishes, clothing…We used all of the medicine that grew around. We knew what to eat, all the roots. We made our beds out of bamboo, we made tables that we hung up so that the mice would not get to our cheese that we hung from our roof. Everything was safe and clean and aired and dried. And at the end of the season my family would take the extra corn, the extra beans, we also grew sugar cane, and the extra cheese and would go to the city. And I didn’t understand this when I was a kid but later I figured it out, then they would get money-at that time, that’s how they got their money...

Anita Rojas - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"It’s so amazing, back then there weren’t chemicals…everything was done naturally, and I just admire that, I just love that I was raised that way. It was hard-it wasn’t easy to milk 80 cows and make all this cheese and take care of the, my job was to take the baby calves [to pasture] all day long, and at the end of day it was time to bring them back. There was no clock; we just knew, ‘oh the sun is there, okay it’s time to get the calves.’ And when you’re a kid and you live that way, you have responsibility and accountability. Nobody had to tell me, they told me once or twice, that’s it. And there were consequences, big ones, if I didn’t do my job. So everybody knew what their responsibility was and that’s how it was year after year. Same with the babies…The older women were considered the wiser because they already had their babies. They grew their babies. They saw all the things that came up, that they knew what they've done that worked. My great grandmothers on both sides were midwives, and so the older people were the ones that were healing and attending the births. and so in my family, in the middle of nowhere, we had breech babies, we had twins. One of my aunties had nineteen children, nineteen children, and three died. One of them from a scorpion bite, one was from a kick to the head at 7 from a horse, and I can't remember the other…but mostly people survived, people lived.

When there's no TV, no toys for the kids, you improvise. And so, our way of fun as kids were to climb trees…and in May and in June, all these little birds are being born, all these little birds and I knew where the doves were birthing and where the humming birds were birthing.at the right time when they just got their feathers and when I found the nest and at a certain time, when it was the right time I would take [a fledgling] and then I would feed it. I would chew corn with my mouth, its gross but at the time I thought it was perfect, I would chew corn with my mouth and feed it to the birds and they would eat out of my mouth. And then they start to grow and fly away and thought I was their mom, so i would have a bird following me everywhere. And that was, now that i think about it, it was really magical. "

Anita Rojas - Español (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Mi nombre es Anita Rojas. So Chicana y me nací en Los Ángeles pero cuando era bebé, me trajeron a México y me crecí en México en una manera muy tradicional. Me crecí en las montañas con mi abuela materna, varios tíos y sus hijos. Era una comunidad con mucha confianza, de solamente familia. Algunos de mis recuerdos de aquella época…fue increíble porque cuando me pongo a pensar como era la vida, fue una vida muy trabajosa, muy difícil porque éramos campesinos y cosechamos todo. Sembrábamos maíz, frijoles. Teníamos muchas vacas y yo recuerdo que tenía que ordeñar algo como 80 vacas. Que trabajo. También hicimos queso y mantequilla y varias cosas más. Un montón de trabajo para los hombres, las mujeres y también, para los niños…no comíamos mucha carne. Solamente comemos todo loa que se cosechaba en nuestra tierra.

Recuerdo que había dinero, pero no se lo usaba para la comida porque todo se cosechaba de la tierra. Había raíces que cosechábamos, parecían a las papas. Las rallaba, las echaba a un bidón de agua, y las mezclaban hasta que se hiciera muy espumoso y fue nuestro champú, nuestro jabón para los platos, y para la ropa….usábamos todas las plantas medicinales que crecían en el lugar. Sabíamos que plantas que comer, todas las raíces para comer. Hicimos las camas de bambú, hicimos mesas que colgamos para que los ratones no pudieron alcanzar al queso que colgamos del techo. Todo fue seguro y sano y seco. Y al fin de la cosecha mi familia llevaba lo que sobraron del maíz, frijoles, caña de azúcar y queso a la cuidad. Y no lo entendía cuando era niña, pero más tarde lo entendí, que así fue como se consiguió el dinero...

Anita Rojas - Español (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Es tan increíble, en aquella época no había químicos…. Todo se hizo de forma natural, y yo admiro eso, y me encanta que fue criada en esa manera. Fue difícil – no fue fácil ordeñar 80 vacas y hacer tanto queso cuidar de los, a mi trabajo consistía en llevar a los terneros (a pastar) todo el día, y al final del día llego el tiempo del traerlos del regreso. No había reloj; solamente supimos, “oh el sol está ahí, está bien es la hora de recoger a los terneros.” Y cuando eres un niña y vives de esta manera, tienes responsabilidad. Nadie tenía que decírmelo, me dijeron uno o dos veces, eso es todo. Y había consecuencias, grandes, si no hacia mi trabajo. Entonces todos sabían sus responsabilidades y así era año tras año. Igual con los bebes…Las mujeres mayores fueron considerados más sabias porque ya tenían a sus bebes. Crecieron a sus bebes. Vieron todo lo que ocurrió, que sabían lo que hicieron que funciono. Mis bisabuelas de ambos lados fueron parteras, y entonces las personas mayores eran los que estaban curando y asistiendo a los partos. Y entonces mi familia, en el medio de la nada tuvimos bebes de nalgas, tuvimos gemelos. Una de mis tías tuvo 19 hijos, 19 hijos y tres murieron. Uno de ellos de la mordedura de un escorpión, uno de la patada en la cabeza a los siete años de una caballa, y no puedo recordar el otro… pero la mayoría de la gente sobrevivió, la gente vivió.

Cuando no hay televisión, ni juguetes para los niños, hay que improvisar. Y así, nuestra manera de divertirnos como niños era trepar a los árboles…y en mayo y en junio están naciendo todos los pajaritos y sabíamos dónde estaban naciendo las palomas y donde estaban naciendo los colibríes. Encontraba los nidos y cuando estaba el momento correcto, cuando los polluelos acaban de aparecer sus plumas yo tomaba [un polluelo] y luego lo alimentaba. Yo masticaba maíz con la boca, pues es asqueroso, pero en esa época yo pensaba que era perfecto, masticaba maíz con la boca y se lo daba de comer a los polluelos y ellos comían de mi boca. Y luego comenzaron a crecer y volar y pensaron que yo era su mama, así que tendría un pájaro siguiéndome a todas partes. Y eso fue, ahora que lo pienso, fue realmente mágico."

Javier León - English (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"My name is Javier León, here in the area I was known as a lion and I am a person born in Mexico in the State of Guanajuato, but in my childhood at [5 or 6 years old] we moved to Ensenada, Baja California where I grew up until I was 17…

Growing up, [I was] very happy there…we are a family of 7, [and] it is a very beautiful tradition, that maybe I do not know if it still exists, but it is beautiful because [back] then, living together with your family, your brothers, your parents, your grandparents, we always got together on Sundays [as a family]. And it's a nice thing, you grow up with it and you say ‘oh’. My grandparents had a little store and whenever we arrived at their house, it was like a tradition for them...they always gave us hot chocolate with bread, always bread with chocolate every day…

…We did have traditions in the town where I was born in Guanajuato, Christmas this reminds me a bit because I didn't grow up there myself, I was raised more in Ensenada, but when I was little, I remembered having a tradition in December [where] we would call the shepherds. It is a very beautiful tradition that we have there in Guanajuato. But it is only in certain towns from there in Guanajuato, it is not in the entire country or the entire state. There are only a few communities that do that…

Javier León - English (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"…Not so much because I was still a child, my parents almost did not tell me that they did not force me to work as a child. But they had their lands, they had my grandparents. My parents had cattle, they had land from, the truth is I don’t know what they grew. But I know that they only had land, I would only go to have fun there, but no, I never worked the land. Only my parents, uncles, my grandparents…

…Ah well, very well. I lived a very beautiful life there in Ensenada. This culture is very different because in each city there is no land, but in the area where I lived, the way of living is very different. In Ensenada this one because only there I remember. Traditions already changed a lot because they are or were people who were coming from other states when we got there. And [they] all had different cultures. They [came] from Sinaloa, Durango, like those from Guanajuato, from Oaxaca, from other parts, and they all were arriving, and I guess you can say there was no such thing as which culture we are going to follow besides our culture. Each one made their culture. They created their own culture, but it was not so much cultural as in towards the state. If not, most of the people who immigrated to Ensenada were here to work. Many came here and could not cross [the border], and they stayed there and made their lives to be part of their own culture since it was mixed…

Javier León - Español (1)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Mi nombre es Javier León, aquí se conocieron por mi honor y soy una persona nacida en México en el estado de Guanajuato, pero en mi niñez, de los 6  años o las 5 años nos mudaron a Ensenada Baja California donde me crecía hasta los 17 años.

Vivir mi infancia en México, creciendo felices...somos una familia de 7... es una tradición muy bonita, pero es bonito porque es convivir con tu familia, tus hermanos, tus padres, tus abuelos, los domingos para ir algo a visitarlos [como familia]. Y es algo bonito, crees con eso y acalambrado practicados por la tecnología que va cambiando porque ya trae antes, no voy a hacer teléfonos, es algo bonito que te queda de tu memoria y siempre está al lado en la mente de uno...come bien cuando comió uno con la familia...mis abuelos, siempre que llevamos a su casa...ya en el telón había chocolate caliente, pues siempre que me ven a comer y siempre durará un pan con chocolate todos los días...

Aún tenemos una tradición es en diciembre. Qué se llamó los pastores es una tradición muy bonita que tenemos hay algunas fotos pero solamente es en ciertos pueblos de Guanajuato y bueno el país y estado solamente unas cuantas comunidades ...

Javier León - Español (2)

Photo credit: Ofelia Guzman Photography, fall 2021.

The following is a quoted summary from an interview with ILLUMINATION Story Collector Johanis Tadeo, fall 2021:

"Casi no me dijeron a trabajar del niño, pero ellos [mis padres] tenían sus tierras, tenían mis abuelos y tenía ganado. Tenían tierras, la verdad no sé qué sembraba, pero yo sé que tenían tierras solamente llueva como a divertirme y nada más, solo mis padres, mis tíos, mis abuelos trabajaron en las tierras.

Pues muy bonita y una vida muy bonita y allá en Ensenada. La cultura muy diferente porque a cada ciudad de tierra era muy diferente la manera de vivir, menciona, solamente recuerda las tradiciones a cambiaron mucho porque solo éramos personas que van viniendo de otros estados y lleno conseguir y esté todo tenía envuelto de diferentes, te voy a decir. Sinaloa, Durango, cuanto de Oaxaca y de otras partes y todos llegando allí pues no, no así como la que vamos hacer una población de nuestra cultura y se ve como [solo] una cultura pero era tanto culturas...La mayoría de las personas que emigraron a entrenar como a trabajar...porque como mucho venían para acá ya no pudieron cruzar [la frontera] y se quedaron ahí...

Mirarlos porque siempre estuve trabajando en la tarde en el estado de Oregón pues yo me vine a los 17 año. A los 17, 18 ... Solo avisar para acá, pero aquí tenía familia y ya aquí en Estados Unidos no pasa bien siempre. ¿Entonces no vienes? Tratando de trabajar y regresar ... lo que todos queremos ... aquí se adapta uno en la forma de vivir EEUU tienes que apuntarte al lugar donde vive diferente... tenemos culturas y luego aquí hay reglas que hay que seguir también te adaptas hablo al sistema, de dónde vives este pueblo, tradiciones de aquí, de aquí este ya uno se siente parte de Estados Unidos siendo estos que eres de aquí porque ha venido la madre toque aquí. Tratando de hablar el idioma también. Pero si es para un cambio al ... porque llegas a un buen de las lenguas diferentes estilo de vida diferente en México eres un poco más libre."

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