El Santo

Relationship: Im/migrant
Made out of clay and spray painted.
Made out of clay and spray painted.

The pottery statue called El Santito, is from Mexico and came to the U.S when my grandmother immigrated here. When my great-grandmother found it, it was in Oxnard CA where my grandma had first moved when she came to the United States. The object is a saint that is about 11inches tall. The statue is made out of clay and is painted. By adding details to El santito they with vines, flowers, details on the face. This Santo came from Jerez Zacatecas, a small town where both my grandma and mom are from. The Santo was given to my mom months later after my grandmother passed. My great-grandma told my mom about the saint when she brought it from Oxnard to Napa. I feel like my mom connects to it the most since it was her mom’s. It is one of the last objects my mom does have of my grandma which makes it very special to her. I don't connect to it as much but at the same time I do because it was my grandma’s. My grandma and I were very close so anything of hers is special because she was my best friend and I miss her every day. This statue is part of my identity because it's from Mexico and that is where my roots are. My family and I are also religious so we do have religious ties to the statue. A big reason this is important to me is that it is part of my grandma. I feel like in a way her spirit and she is watching over us.

Place(s): California
Year: 1944

– Janelle Portillo

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant