If you ask most people what is a memorable place for them, they would most likely answer with some fun or exotic location. For me its somewhere I spent a lot of my early childhood at. My memorable place is Juarez, Mexico. I know what your thinking. really? Out of all the "pretty" or "cool" places. I know it's not luxurious, it's downright ghetto and scary. I know it's not a tourist location. Honestly I would probably not recommend it as a place to go visit. Honestly it's a pretty dangerous and high in crime, but I see it as so much more. It's the place of my childhood. I have beautiful memories. It wasn't always so dangerous. As kids me and my sister would walk to the park with no adult supervision. We trusted that we were safe in that neighborhood. Sadly, I probably wouldn't risk walking alone over there now as an adult though. When I think about it Juarez or Mexico it feels my heart with sadness but also with a lot of love and pride.
As a Mexican-American 26 year old women currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico I feel over whelmed with emotions. Some sad even negative about what's going on in our country, but I want to talk to you about something positive. My culture is very important to me. It has had a huge influence on me as both a person and as a designer. I want to paint an image for you. I Want you to see Mexico through my eyes.
When I cross the border the first thing I see is the beautiful Mexican flag. The vibrant green, white, and red. fill me with pride and joy. The colors represent “The Three Guarantees”. Green symbolizes independence, white represented the Roman Catholic religion, the red is for the union of Americans and Europeans. The Mexican Coat of Arms in the middle is an eagle on a prickly pear cactus eating a snake. The flag moving in the wind makes the eagle look like its soaring high in the sky. Juarez is such a big city, there are so many sounds. I hear the traffic. The vendors on the streets announcing what they’re selling. Locals going up to tourists asking if they can wash their car to make money to eat. People are walking around selling food, ceramics, and Mexican pastries. Every day is a struggle to feed their families. There’s so much poverty. When I’m there a tornado of mixed emotions starts inside me. On one side I feel my heart ache when I see their struggle and knowing there is not much I can do to help. On the other hand, my heart is overflowing with pride to witness how hardworking they are. No matter life’s hardships they never quit, they perceiver. There are so many smells. There’s a food stands in every corner. There is taco stands, gordita stands, fresh food carts, ice cream carts, torta stands, and people walking around selling chicharones, candy, and cotton candy. My favorite smells come from the bakeries. The scent invites me in for some Mexican sweet bread and I gladly accept its invitation. I watch them as they place my order in the brick oven. The smell of fresh bread baking in the oven fills the room like a perfume. My mouth waters in anticipation. I can’t walk by a Mexican bakery and not walk in. When they hand me my paper bags full of various Mexican breads and pastries I pick one before I hand it to my family and they disappear. One of my favorites is a cream cheese filled roll topped with sesame seeds. I take a bite. It’s warm, creamy, and cheesy. I savor every bite, it’s so delicious. We get to our Relatives house for a quick visit. We all exchange hugs and kisses. My heart melts. I missed them so much. Times runs out of our hands. It’s time to go. Our short visit tastes bitter sweet. We are grateful for our time together, but saying goodbye feels like a piece of me is getting torn of. As were driving back over across the border a piece of me stays in Juarez, my home town. I have to remind myself it’s not a goodbye it’s a till next time. The flag swaying in the wind waves me of as the wind whispers to me “see you later.”