Ave Maria

Wooden plaque w/ religious figures
Wooden plaque w/ religious figures

My name is Itzel Delgadillo and unlike many people in the U.S., I was not born in this country. I was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico. My story isn’t all about me though; my whole life it’s been my mom,  dad,  grandma, and 2 siblings. We were all born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States in December, 2003. Before moving to the U.S. my family had been moving from state to state in Mexico. 
Despite all the migrating that my family did, I do have one constant memory from all those journeys. There is a small wooden frame with a Virgin Mary and the words “Ave Maria” written on the wood that has been in my family forever. 
 This object is a symbol of faith and protection for my family. It came from Rome and the figures were made from deer bone. My aunt Lydia, a grandmother figure, gifted it to my family in 1995. This object represented the union and love that would always be with my family, generation to generation. To me this object meant “home”, “faith”, and radiated a sense of “protection”. I never knew exactly why, but I knew this was a significant object that went with us everywhere.  

 I was five when my family immigrated to the United States. This object made any house a home and reminded me that my family would always be protected and united. We migrated out of Mexico because the government was unstable and corrupt. We immigrated into the U.S. because of better educational and job opportunities. Once we got to America, we moved around often due to lack of resources and I felt inferior due to my language. Thankfully this object kept me faithful and united to everyone.  

Place(s): Rome, Mexico, United States
Year: 2003

– Itzel

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child