I took me 11 years to return to New York. I was so scared, the last time I had lived in the city I was 3 years old. It had become part of me this culture which I had lived in for most of my life. Finally, freedom was so close, the impossible was happening and I was trying to take whatever I had, some raggedy shirts half of them stained by bleach and the other half worn to a pulp. This was it, a few pounds of coffe since everyone told me American coffe was not good. I packed as much as I could and a suit for I don’t even know why, maybe for church or just because it took me 7 hours of work to earn enough to buy it 90% off. The struggle was supposed to end but in this suitcase I tried to fit a decade of work and struggle. The vestiges of an era that was about to end. I believe all of the fears of this new otherness, not the language but just this shift in culture. This photo was my suitcase, a box of things that were supposed to take a little bit of this place I called home with me. This was my suitcase full of dreams, dreams that would accompany me and bring some of this home with me. A year and five days later there is barely anything left from that suitcase, and in this time I have learned that those dreams were not in the suitcase but in my heart and even if all of those things are gone my culture and time there shall always be with me. A little slice of Puerto Rico, a small suitcase that will always be with me.
– Emily Calvez