Concept #1 : Born and Raised in Watsonville
My first concept: “Born and Raised in Watsonville” reflects the Watsonville community showcasing our love with pride, through visual art, stemming from seeds, merely growing, and establishing ourselves as the resilient and strong community that we are.
Inspired by a quote in Spanish, “quisieron enterrarnos pero no sabían que èramos semillas” which translates to “they tried to bury us without knowing we were seeds” this image of a seed growing and establishing its roots, wherever planted, represents the resilience and strength in Watsonville.
Everyone who knows me understands my obsession with strawberries and my love for them that stems from the representation they have for my hometown. Strawberries are the most popular and profitable crop in Watsonville, known worldwide, as the “best strawberries in the world”.
The world can thank the people who work in the fields under harsh conditions for more than eight hours a day. Field workers consisting of immigrants who, throughout history, have worked in agriculture to establish their roots in a place they now call home for them and their families.
Many immigrant families get together from different parts of the world, as well as, the United States and have settled here to work. Currently, Watsonville has a large Latino community. My roots, for example, stem from my mother being born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and my father who was born in El Salvador.
Growing up I noticed that when North Santa Cruz County folks questioned where I was from and my response was Watsonville, they would share negative opinions about my hometown. Additionally, the media had a tendency to portray Watsonville as a violent environment. I noticed, as many other Watsonville residents, that the media would only report negative events that happen in our community. However, they lacked reporting much of the positive events and the rich cultural wealth that Watsonville has.
Watsonville is filled of positive experiences and is surrounded with amazing people accomplishing goals for themselves, their families, and the community. It is humbling to meet different types of people whose work ethic is something that cannot be taught in books. This hustle comes naturally and implemented everyday without hesitation or need of validation. People with creativity, faith and skills used to overcome whatever obstacle each institution hits them with. And when they are unable to do it themselves work in unity, either within immediate family, friends, or adopted family or community. Always resilient.
Just because the Watsonville community does not look like other surrounding communities, it does not mean it is less, it is different, it is unique, and it is beautiful. Too long, it has been unrecognized and unacknowledged for it’s beauty, uniqueness, character, and resilience. If the media chooses not to showcase it through this light, then I will. Through my art, career, this blog, and community organizing I will represent with pride the love I have for Watsonville and the many people that create the culturally rich hidden gem it is.