For my Visual Art class we were ask to make a project on "Casa y Recuerdo." I thought about drawing "El Cerro del Petacal," a hill located just a few minutes away in front of my agricultural field where I used to work at.
As time passes by, I have realized how meaningful this place is for me. In here, I did not only worked in agriculture, I was also part of the tequila industry. Though it is a dangerous drink, it is part of a culture and Jalisco's pride.
In here, I got to interact with very poor communities who, despite not having gone to school, they were very wise. I got to witness injustices, seeing American farm companies establishing themselves in foreign territories, employing many indigenous people who could not even speak Spanish and would be exploited by their managers making them over work, forcing them to live under terrible circumstances, and pay them less than $10 dollars per week! I got and continue seeing Monsanto poisoning our seeds and affecting our farmers, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Nutrillite appropriating territories and workers in El Petacal in order to sell "quality" products for cheaper prices. The misery that people would have to go through is the reason why they migrated to "El Norte." This place means generations of hard work and kids without parents because they would migrate to US in order to.give their children a better life and get them out of the fate each generation has gone through: working in agriculture, a job that though it is so important is not valued. And yet, no one would do anything. For Me, El Cerro del Petacal does not only means good memories or a pair of rough working hands, but it is the reason why I wanted to achieve higher education, my passion for helping others, my inspiration to achieve my goals, and the reason for who I am.
Despite everything, this is my home, with good and bad memories. My home is not a building, because it is only when I am with nature that I feel I am myself, at peace.
I did this painting on a paper bag and acrylic paint. I used this material because I think of acrylic paint as one of the cheapest and basic art materials (or I just bought the cheapest one) and I feel that memories are just so normal, basic in daily life. I also did it on paper bag because, just as that paper, memories are so fragile, easy to be transformed. Therefore, I put a frame around the painting because, as happy memories, we want to treasure and value them.
Si pudiera, volaria hacía allá para poder sentir la tierra en mis manos, oír a los pájaros cantar, oler la tierra mojada después de una lluvia y me doy cuenta de lo fuerte que abrazo a el recuerdo y lo difícil que es encontrar otro lugar así--como casa.