Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Photo of traditional Salvadoran dish
Photo of traditional Salvadoran dish

My mother fled to the United States back in 1989 when her home country, El Salvador, was experiencing a violent civil war. The push factor that influenced my family’s decision to migrate was a traumatizing experience they, unfortunately, had to go through. During the war, there were guerilla groups that terrorized citizens, and my grandparent’s home became one of their targets. My grandfather was almost shot that day but was able to escape from the men’s grasp. The male family members of her family left before my mother was able to join them, leaving behind her mother, her sister, and her. Similar to stories of the women in Vicki Ruiz’s book From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America, the pull factor for my mother to come to the U.S. was already having family members there. Since my mother moved here at a very young age, she felt disconnected from her culture back at home. Her parents tried to assimilate as much as possible to their new surroundings to provide their kids with the necessities to grow in the U.S. However, one aspect of her previous life carried on into her new one. The photograph here is a traditional food of El Salvador, pupusas. This prized food is the center of every birthday, Christmas, and other family event we have had since I can remember. Pupusas also provide a sense of comfort for my mother as it is the one item she has not lost from the displacement that the war caused her. As I have entered adulthood, she has begun to teach me how to make them, and I plan to carry the recipe throughout generations.

Place(s): El Salvador
Year: 1989

– V

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