Saint of Protection
Saint of Protection

In my family, specifically for my mom, religion is important. When we migrated here no one but my father wanted to be here. Our lives had been in Perú; that’s all my siblings had known. When my father decided to stay because he saw that he could provide for us here, my mom started carrying a little pendant with a saint on it. She felt lost in a country where she didn't know anybody or the language. She prayed to the saint every day and asked for guidance and protection. In Perú, going to church every Sunday was important. She would dress all of us up in church attire, and it became a tradition. Being in a country where no one spoke the language, my mom took a chance and went to a local church where we used to live when I was younger. Here she found a community of Latina women who unsurprisingly had come to the United States with their families because their husbands knew they could provide for them better in this country. She would then take me every Sunday to church to meet up with these women and their children, and we all formed a sort of family. This was the protection my mother was seeking – a community of people that spoke Spanish and that understood what it was like to be treated a certain way for not speaking English, among other things. This pendant she left with me when she moved back to Perú, and I hope I pass it on as protection and guidance to whomever I care for in the future. 

Place(s): Perú and New York
Year: 2003

– AR

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child