Tell Me your
Dreams: An Impression of Immigrants' Hope
Tus Sueños: Impresiones de la esperanza de los inmigrantes
As a Costa Rican born and schooled artist, Marité
Vidales immigrated to the US and became a naturalized US
citizen, residing in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area since
1989. For nearly 25 years, she has dedicated her life both to
painting and raising a family.
As an immigrant and artist, she has a personal
understanding of what it means to start a new life in the
Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Through her expressionist
style artwork, she wishes to portray the life experiences of
everyday immigrants to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area,
who have overcome great obstacles and challenges to start a new
life in the US.
Based on interviews and photographs, Marité
depicting their impressions of the people and their life
experiences and visions for the future. The paintings are
biographical, symbolic or abstract depending on the
perceptions. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be
donated to the Community
Ministries of Rockville (CMR) Latino Outreach Program and other
charitable organizations, which provide
important community services.
aims to increase an appreciation for art as a way of addressing
social causes, and to support people and institutions like the
CMR that help the
disadvantaged improve their lives.
Local Hispanic immigrants, who have been helped
by the CMR programs, have been interviewed by the artist to
learn about their hopes and expectations of life in the US.
What are their dreams?
How do they imagine themselves in dreams and reality?
What are their hobbies, sports, and pastimes?
What do they do for a living?
What do they believe in?
What memories do they keep from their countries of origin?
To date, approximately twenty immigrants have
been interviewed. They all have been very willing to
participate and to share their life experiences. This is their
way to repay CMR for all of the benefits they received from
their programs. A sample of the interviews include:
- A young Peruvian from the Province of Cajamarca in her early twenties. She came alone to the US three
years ago. She lives and works with an American
family in Montgomery County, Maryland. She misses
her family. Her dream is to study medicine,
although she knows that it will be hard to reach.
Her first step is to become fluent in English. This she
hopes to achieve through the CMR program. She craves
ceviche and the cherimoya fruit; she likes turquoise;
and prefers daylight to night.
of El Salvador. She came to the US as a
youth, twenty-three years ago. She since married
and has two teenage children. She likes to
help people, and has worked as a caregiver,
cleaning houses, and as a school aide. Her
dream is to have a house again, and to see her
children succeed in life. She likes
penguins, and has a large collection of their
figures. The death of uncle, who was like
a father, has marked her for life. She
loves to read, especially Latin American
authors, such as Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa,
and Isabel Allende. It fuels her vast
imagination. She misses her people in El
Salvador, the food, and eating barbeques on the
beach. She enjoys the flavors of avocado
||Ruben and Rosa
– a married couple from the Dominican Republic.
Ruben came to New York City almost thirty years ago.
loves NY, and would die for the Yankees and the Giants.
He and his family have settled happily in Rockville
where he hopes to see his children enter professional
careers. Ruben met and married Rosa in Santo
Domingo. Rosa came to the US with him in 1994.
Before meeting Ruben, she had dreams in which the Statue
of Liberty whispered to her to come to the US. So
upon marrying Ruben, she was very anxious to see her
dream come true. They
lived in New York City in very poor conditions.
Their first-born son suffered from kidney disease from
age four due to eating lead paint from the walls of
their apartment. With their family’s faith, medical
attention, and the donated organ of his aunt, the child
later recuperated fully. Rosa
studied cosmetology and ports management in her country.
But her dream was to be a social worker. Today,
she devotes her time as a health care promoter to
educate in preventing cancer. She misses her
friends and family in the Dominican Republic. But she is
happy living here with her husband and children. She
believes this is a country of opportunities.
d Dolores - Maria Carmen is six years old; her
sister Dolores is seven.
They play at the daycare room while their parents
study English in the CMR Latino Outreach Program.
dreams of being a ballerina, while Dolores wants to be a
enjoy flying kites, jumping rope, riding scooters and
playing ball. Maria
Carmen likes to keep her room clean.
She enjoys arroz
con leche (rice pudding), cats, and all things pink.
Her sister likes daisies, pears and the color
- Florencio receives
medical care at the Mansfield Kaseman Health Program.
He is originally from
, where he built a successful business growing and
He had a hardworking farming business which was
interrupted by unfortunate events - his life threatening
heart surgery and the sudden death of a 20 year old son.
These memories still cast a shadow on his life.
Today his greatest aspiration is to bring joy and
success to his three other sons.
He is optimistic for a future full of
opportunities and self improvement.
His favorite colors are green and sky blue.
Angel is a diabetic who benefits from CMR health
was a customs official in the Puerto del Callao Port in
still has fond memories of walking along the coast and
meeting with his friends and coworkers.
He came to
with his wife to reunite with their two sons who had
settled in the
years before them.
Angel has worked in a variety of hardware and
paint retailers. He
is very happy living in the
. He believes that there many opportunities for
employment here, and more so for younger people. Angel
es un país para gente joven.”
Angel sees a cheerful future, and looks forward
to retiring and having more free time.
He likes oranges and believes that lemons have
- Mercedes was
studying statistic and public administration at the
during the 1980s - a tumultuous political period in that
Escaping the war and violence, she moved to the
to live with her mother.
Mercedes’ husband died sevens ago.
She has worked hard in a hotel and currently at a
supermarket deli to support her family. Mercedes has a
daughter who is currently a student at the
. She is
very proud of her daughter, and satisfied to have been
able to support her daughter achieve her goals.
She aspires to help other young people develop
and succeed in life.
The sound of rainfall is relaxing to her.
Mangos, roses and the color red are her
is particularly inspired by the verses of Nicaraguan
poet Ruben Dario. “Margarita está linda la mar…”
The lives of immigrants are represented through various
symbols, such as butterflies, paper boats and roses.
Monarch Butterfly, a symbol of freedom The
Monarch Butterfly represents the natural beauty
and cultures which connect Mexico, the United
States and Canada. Although the butterfly has a
short life span (4-5 weeks), the species
migrates yearly a great distance. Its migration
begins at the end of the summer. During the
warm, summer months the Monarch Butterfly lives
in the US and Canada. Towards the end of the
summer, it begins its transnational winter
migration journey to Central Mexico. They arrive
in Michoacán on or around November 1st - on the
Day of the Dead. The warm weather of central
Mexico allows them to breed. In late March, they
make the return journey north. The butterfly
symbolizes the human soul in flight, lightness,
freedom - many of the aspirations and hopes of
Departure, an interpretation of the Diaspora
The divided lives of immigrants are represented
through light, shadows, textures and lines. This
image is the start of an immigrants' journey
aboard a small paper boat. This small vessel
signifies hope in spite of the risks and perils
that lay ahead. Like cradles that carry the
souls to be reborn in Egyptian mythology, the
small vessel symbolizes a means of transition
from one world to the next. These fragile paper
boats support the weight of human dreams and
aspirations, which may land upon failure or
Rose, a symbol of Love and Sacrifice.
Like the heart, the core and the cosmic wheel,
the rose is a sign of love and friendship. The
blood red rose with its thorns is Sacrifice. The
immigrants' journey is one of love and sacrifice
to improve their families' lives. The offering a
rose is a gesture of true friendship.
Born in San José, Costa Rica,
graduated from the School of Fine Arts of the University of
Costa Rica. For over 20 years, Marité has exhibited throughout
United States, Costa Rica and Germany. Her work reflects a
passion for symbols and colors.
The artwork will be on sale and
exhibit at participating galleries and directly from the
the sale of the artwork will be donated to the CMR Latino
Outreach Program and other charitable organizations.
For More Information:
galleries and institutions interested in participating in this
project may contact Marité Vidales at
posibilidad de realizar un sueño, es lo que hace que la vida
Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their
Dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt