Divino Nino Figurine

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A Divino Nino or Baby Jesus Figurine
A Divino Nino or Baby Jesus Figurine

My mother comes from a poor, rural family of 9 in the Dominican Republic. When she was in High school two of her sisters encouraged her to move to the United States in order to give her children access to educational opportunities that she had been denied through life circumstances. Where she lived, children had to be sent to other towns to receive education past middle school and often parents of modest means were unable to do so. She knew she wanted more. When she moved to the New York, she could not speak the language, and brought nothing but a "Divino Niño" Figurine (Baby Jesus figurine), a blouse that belonged to her mother and a prayer that she hoped would see her through. 

Similarly, My father comes from a poor, rural family of 18 in Venezuela. His parents were both Colombian and migrated to Venezuela in hopes of obtaining better educational and job opportunities. My father was forced to drop out of school and sell empanadas to help feed his younger siblings. After all, in his words "How can someone focus on Algebra when they haven't eaten in days". Years later, he chose to move to New York, with a "Divino Niño" prayer in his pocket, in the hopes that his children would never have to feel the type of hunger he did while sitting in his classrooms. 

Both of my parents left everything they knew and loved in their home countries with nothing but a profound faith in the same dream. They believed that the faith in a high power represented by this figurine would connect them to their native countries, their families and allow them to endure turbulent times. 

Place(s): Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela and New York
Year: 1992

– Ashley

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