BFA Exhibition 2021

Kevin Zuniga

2021 Gallery 2 | Photography | Video | Imaging

Through documentary-style photography, my work is a visual tribute to the hardworking Latino people and the authenticity of the city of Nogales. Growing up in Nogales, Arizona, only five minutes from the sister town of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, gave me the opportunity to see and notice the vast differences between the two countries. I hope to bring in a fresh, new perspective of the beauty that both the land of Mexico and the hardworking Latino people that inhabit it have to offer to not only the world but to the United States as well.

Mexico is a place where those who inhabit it are regarded for their work ethic. Mexico has such rich culture and traditions that are so admirable that I cannot possibly fathom why the Latino people are viewed as inferior by Americans. They have a deep background of being hardworking, shown through their rich culture and traditions. For example, the Latino people don’t waste anything. In their production of all goods, whether it be jewelry, food, architecture, agriculture, (etc.) all the products and their waste will be utilized. The very foundation of our heritage, culture, traditions, food, drinks, sports, and so much more about what makes it Mexico are the most embraced and celebrated in the United States while also being denigrated. Latinos are not what racist American politicians say they are. A person’s birthplace does not define their character.

Mexico is a country rich in many ways. It is ethnically diverse, rich in indigenous roots, culture, and cuisine. Such people with ingenious dreams and aspirations cannot achieve what they want because of both the physical and legal barriers between the two countries. In addition to poverty, drug cartels and government corruption have driven its people to seek a better living and a more transparent, peaceful future. I believe that the United States of America could definitely use an outside perspective that the Latino people have to better this country. Seeing how hard the same people workday and day out, 24/7, 365 days a year, is inspiring and a shame that we don’t welcome them into the United States with open arms. They don’t come here for a handout, looking for government assistance or charity. Their intent to come to the United States is to work for better wages. The people in the United States are privileged in many ways. At the same time, Mexico lacks many advances. The Mexican attitude still happens to be “si se puede” or “yes we can.” They get the job done no matter how big or small that project may be.

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