Dad's Cross

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Wooden Cross from El Salvador
Wooden Cross from El Salvador

This cross has been in my family for many years. My dad got it in El Salvador, where he was born. My dad immigrated to the United States during the Salvadoran Civil War when he was about thirteen. One of the main reasons my Abuela brought my dad and some of his brothers to the U.S. was because boys were forced to join the military and risk their lives fighting for a military-led government. My father’s cross has been hanging on my bedroom door for as long as I can remember, whether it was in our home in D.C. or in New Jersey. It represents my father’s culture and where he comes from with his religious background as well as his families. However, my mother’s background has also influenced me. Because of the way I grew up, I was able to see two different cultures when I was younger because of my dad being from El Salvador and my mom being from California. This is important to me because I was able to create an identity for myself. Because I have has this cross in my life since I was born, I have been able to tell the story of my father.  It has also inspired and influenced me, whether it has been with an art project or showing who I am and why this is important to me has been a big part of my life. This cross has played a role in who my dad is and what his story is, but also my siblings and my story and who we are and our identity.

Place(s): Washington D.C. and New Jersey
Year: 1989

– Javier Bonilla

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant