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Take an audio visual journey through the Padres Latinos exhibit

Commentary from the exhibit curators and a photographer.

Stories of Resilience from Somerville’s Padres Latinos” is an interview and documentary photo project and a community-centered museum exhibition. It was funded funded by a 2022 Expand Massachusetts Stories grant.

Padres Latinos explores and shares the stories of members of “Padres Latinos de Somerville Public Schools,” a volunteer group of over 200 Spanish and Portuguese-speaking parents that organized more than a year ago to support each other during the pandemic regarding questions on education, housing, healthcare, and more.

“The center of the exhibition is a Somerville Hispanic Kitchen, which is the heart and soul of most families’ homes,” reads an exhibition placard. “It is surrounded by portraits of each family – studio portraits by [Iaritza] Menjivar and domestic and outdoor scenes by [Mario] Quiroz – and a wall of personal family photographs from local Hispanic and Brazilian immigrants.”

“When they are here, you know, they have suffered a lot. They have lived through a lot of things. But we make all of these to celebrate that they arrived. They made it. And in this fight that they were pushed out for different reasons. They are creative. They have survival skills. And still, despite the circumstances, they can thrive in this country.”

— Ivan Abarca-Torres, curator

“…for me, it was important to show them in this…powerful stance…when you walk into a museum, sometimes you see these gold frames and how these people are remembered. And I wanted to show that with them, to show them in this…new life that they have built here.”

— Iaritza Menjivar, exhibit photographer

“…within this group there are so many different backgrounds, abilities, and sometimes those abilities also are being taken away…we have parents that come with degrees with professions within their country. They were successful people because of the their chances in life. They had to leave their countries…Most of the time generally people don’t want to leave their country, but they are forced to and they are raised here with a lot in their baggage, a lot of things that they could offer to the society and they cannot give it because [of] bureaucracy, because…their degrees, if they have degrees, cannot be validated here. And these are lost in reality because we need those professions, we need those abilities, we need those people that could be bridges between the arrivals, the new arrivals, the new arrivals and the established people here. And we are losing all that human capital.”

— Marta Fuentes Rodriguez, curator

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