Passions & career aspiration

Jewelry & Artisanal Crafts

“Me gusta lo que hago. Y ahora lo tomo como una distracción, aparte de eso me ayudo, trabajo, una forma de ganar dinero también. Y pues ya que yo soy sola con mis dos niñas y tengo que buscar una forma de trabajar.” – MY, 28, Honduran

“I like what I do. And now I use it as a distraction, and besides that I help myself, I work and it’s a form of receiving money. And now since I am alone with my two girls I need to find a way to work.”
Making jewelry is an escape for MY where
all she needs to focus on is making that set of earrings or that necklace. She strives to be able to make all of her jewelry pieces different, never the same piece as the last she’s made. She hopes to be able to use her creativity, if she is allowed asylum into the U.S. She would like to continue her jewelry business once she enters the U.S. as well as opening her own small restaurant.
Being in the shelter, MR mentioned that there were times where he has felt helpless, because he had lost the ability to create. His life felt “stuck” as the days became repetitive, and he was no longer able to craft. Carpentry was a strong passion of his and that was how he had made a living prior to migrating to Mexico. Even though he was unable to create and do what he loves most, he watches tutorials and videos on Youtube and that makes him feel as if he were there crafting with them. 

“Por ejemplo yo soy carpintero entonces me gusta ver tutoriales como hacen otros carpinteros para hacer el trabajo más fácil. Haciendo el mismo mueble entonces eso me hace feliz. Por ejemplo ahora he aprendido a hacer pulseras.” –MR, middle aged, Salvadoran

“For instance I’m a carpenter so I like to see tutorials to see how other carpenters do their work to make mine less difficult. Making the same design of furniture makes me happy. For instance now I have learned how to make bracelets.”


W, Salvadoran mother who worked at a pupuseria talked about her experience in El Salvador and in Mexico. Back in El Salvador she learned how to cook at a young age and while being in different shelters in Tijuana she had to contribute when it came to cooking so she was grateful that what she learned over the years helped her to cook for other migrants as well.

“Y me ha ayudado bastante también porque donde yo estuve en el albergue me tocó cocinar para más de 150 personas también…pues uno lo hace con amor, no solo por compromiso y ya uno ya queda con aquella experiencia que dice pues si no me están pagando acá por cocinar pero lo estoy haciendo por cariño por ayudar…” – W, 29, Salvadoran

“And it’s helped me a lot (cooking skills) as well because I was at a shelter where I had to cook for over 150 people as well… one does it with love not just for commitment and one is left with that experience and it let me know that if I’m not getting paid here for cooking and doing it because I care to help…”

W being in a shelter was a form of gaining experience and being able to do something out of love and care for people who were in the shared space where she was. This also inspired her to become more interested in cooking in a job since people loved her cooking at the shelter. 


B, a Salvadoran migrant, has a passion for music, and growing up, it always held an important role in his life. Nobody in his family played music or sang, and because of that, it felt like a gift to him. Music became his passion, a part of his identity, and how he chooses to represent himself to others.

“Desde muy chico yo fui muy arriesgado, muy sujeto o estuve muy apasionado por la música. Entonces al final el instrumento que sujeto es una representación de lo que la música ha significado en mi. Ha sido un instrumento para poder avanzar en mi vida, ha sido un instrumento para poder desestresarme, ha sido un instrumento para alejarme de dificultades.” –B, unknown, Salvadoran

“Since I was very young I took many risks, I’ve been very passionate about music. So in the end the instrument I am holding is a representation of what music has meant for me. It’s been an instrument to advance in my life, it’s been an instrument to help destress, it’s been an instrument that’s helped me get away from my difficulties.”
While we had the chance to speak with B, it was evident how much of a significance music has helped him through all types of difficulties.

B’s most priced objects

B works at a migrant shelter, so he’s met many people throughout the years. Although all the migrants come and go, they all remain in his heart even if they’re far away now. These objects are gifts he’s received from some of them.
From the donations the shelter receives, a boy who was staying at the shelter got the toy instrument to play with, but when he had to leave for court, he left it for B.
The object made of lead B found in the shelter when he first started working there and was looking for a hammer but didn’t find one, instead he found this object. Has used it as a hammer ever since.
The tree is a gift from a young girl who was staying at the shelter; this was her parting gift.

“Ese instrumento me lo regalo un niño”

“This instrument was given to me by a little boy.”

“Entonces hasta la fecha lo adopte, y así lo han utilizado muchas personas como para martillar así clavos, y el concreto.”

“Until this day I’ve adopted it, and many people have used this object to hammer down nails and the concrete.”

“Entonces también lo guardo con mucho cariño porque es un presente de una persona que pensó en mí, que pensó en mí por agradecimiento.”

“So this is an object I also hold dearly because it’s a gift from someone who thought of me, who was thankful to me.”