top of page

Pocha ​

Pocha is a word I strongly resented growing up. This word identifies the stutter present when speaking my mother tongue. It reminds me I am not fully American because I claim my Hispanic culture proudly, and I am not fully Mexican because of this stutter and privileges that living in America has allowed me. However, being Pocha is also beautiful. I have watched the struggles my immigrant parents lived through. I have seen them spend years watching their parents from afar and leave half of their hearts behind with every visit. I have seen them being shamed for their broken English. Through this, I have come to understand my role as a Pocha. I function as a bridge and extended hand for people, like my parents, who have come to this land and are faced with struggle after struggle. My tongue might stutter but my love and respect for Mexico never will. My paintings revolve around accepting this title, which is otherwise a derogatory slang term for Mexican American children who are stuck in limbo between two countries. I do not claim to understand my parents’ struggles, but I understand what it is to watch the world be cruel to them, and to mourn their lives for them because they sacrificed it for me. Therefore, to refuse my culture or refuse to help people like my parents because of my broken Spanish, would be the biggest dishonor to their sacrifices. My art brings both of my worlds together with color, subject, and material. Focusing largely on mixed media paintings, my work nourishes the wounds I inherited from watching my parents struggle and my own experiences as a first-generation child. Using bright color palettes, I celebrate the beauty and colors associated with my Hispanic culture. The integration of recyclables is forged from my childhood when learning to problem solve and turning my world into a playground of materials. The subject matter is a love letter to my parents, and those like them, but also emphasizes the difficulties of assimilating into American culture, which denies one's ancestry. 

bottom of page