A historical object that represents the migration of my family to the United States, is a gold chain. For me, it is not valuable because it is made of gold, rather because it represents his struggle in the United States. In 1989, he was forced to leave his family in Ecuador to find work in the United States. When he first arrived, he worked in a local restaurant washing dishes and was paid only five dollars an hour. He knew this would not be enough to bring his wife and daughter to join him, so he looked for something better and eventually found work in the jewelry business. He learned to make handcrafted jewelry only by watching his co-workers, and mastered the skill in a matter of months. Eventually, he was earning more money, but only enough to bring his wife. Finally, in 1993, my parents brought my sister from Ecuador. With the whole family here, my father decided to fabricate different chains for all of his children. It took him exactly one month to do my chain. This jewelry is anything but common. The style of my chain comes from a puma mold. It is very unique and I like it very much. It was the first object he made for me and now that I'm older I can truly appreciate his work and the sentiment attached to the gift.
– Jonathan Velez