On July 10, 1995, my mother Libia Cazhco left her homeland in Ecuador in search for opportunities and to reunite with the love of her life who lived in New York. Fortunately, my father had been able to apply for a visa for her to come to Queens. Unlike my mother, my father immigrated into the United States by going from country to country on foot and on plane in 1988. The day my mother came to the United States, she took a small suitcase, a purse and her wallet. It took her years to get adjusted to the U.S since everything was different—even the currency. The first time I was shown the Ecuadorian Sucre was in Kindergarten when I had an identity crisis. According to my mother, I came home one day from school and told my mother I loved my country—Mexico. I remember her taking out a black wallet from her bedside drawer. This was the exact same wallet she used in 1995. When my mom first showed me the Ecuadorian Sucre I was fascinated. I admired the bills as she explained to me that we were from Ecuador, which was often known as the home of the Galapagos Islands. One of the bills have an image of the tortoises which is what she showed me as she described to me Ecuador's beauty. The Ecuadorian Sucre allowed me to connect and discover my cultural roots. When I held the bills as a child I was amazed by how different the bills were to U.S Dollars. Without placing much thought, my mother had been able to bring a piece of Ecuador inside her wallet which connected me to my heritage.
– Kathy Cazhco