El Vestido

In Attire
My grandmother and grandfather.
My grandmother and grandfather.

This is my grandma’s dress, El Vestido that's been passed on to my aunts and mother. This dress has been in my family for many years and it represents our love and passion for dance. “Está hecho de algodón y colores tradicionales como amarillo, verde, blanco, rojo y rosa.” my grandma tells me and it was made and delivered from Mexico. My grandma immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old, and 10 years later made a dance group called “Groupo Quetzalli”. She tried to bring her Mexican roots to the United States, to culturize young teens and people within her community through dance. They would travel to events and would make events on their own and raise money to donate to churches and shelters. They would travel to different boroughs and even out of state. Their biggest debut was in Radio City Music Hall and performed their most traditional dance called “Los Concheros”. “Los Concheros” is a spiritual dance devoted to the Virgin Mary on her birthday. This made a name for “Groupo Quetzalli” and started opening more doors for them. After 11 years of success and recognition, due to depression, my grandma had to stop coaching and guiding “Groupo Quetzalli” and focus on herself. “Cada vez que miro el vestido, especialmente las fotos, todos los recuerdos y momentos de tu abuelobailando vuelven a mí. Todo lo bueno y lo malo, las lágrimas, de los adolescentes, vuelven a mí. Aunque ya no soy capaz de hacer esto mental y físicamente ... si Dios me diera una segunda oportunidad, no lo daría por sentado”.

Place(s): New York
Year: 1985

– KM

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant