Photograph of Grandma

In Attire

 This is a photo of my grandmother, Eugenia Villegas. She migrated from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in 1956. When she arrived here, she lived with a family in the Delancey street area of New York City, and was to be married a few months later. She was born in one of the islands poorest areas, known as La Perla. My grandmother was twenty years old when she decided to move to the states and get married. Her migration and marital status was the only hope of getting out of poverty. Her mother and six siblings depended on these events in her life, however, an entirely different story took place. 
 On the day my grandmother was to be married, she put on her wedding dress, that she made by hand, photographed herself in the beautiful dress, and then threw it out of the window. Her fiancé had decided not to marry her. My grandmother was terrified of what would become of her life, but she was determined. She found a job as a seamstress in a handbag factory, located in the South Bronx and was able to move out on her own. She was able to bring her siblings over to the states over time. Eventually, she met my grandfather and they had three children, but never married. Until this day she says, “look at all I have done, without a husband.” Without her determination and bravery, my family would not exist today.  

Place(s): Puerto Rico, Delancey Street, South Bronx
Year: 1956

– BA

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