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Laura Hernández: Fighting for Understanding

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"When I go to clean a house, I go with the desire to show my employer that she probably needs me and my work just as much as her employer needs her and her work."

Read English transcript

My name is Laura Hernández Romero, I am from the state of Puebla in Mexico, and I came here to have a better future for me and for my family. I am a domestic worker.

Many people might think that maybe domestic workers who come here to do that sort of work, that maybe we are unprepared, that we are ignorant. Maybe it's because many of us don't speak English that many people think that we are uneducated… that may be the reason. Before I used to say, how am I going to do house cleaning? How am I going to go clean for Americans? If this is a job, well it's the lowest there is, isn't it? Even in our countries people say, "Oh well, you are a domestic worker" like the work you do doesn't have any value. But then there are also many people who think that this job is just like any other job.

I chose this work because I like it and because I want to show all of the people who might have thought that domestic work is insignificant and that it doesn't have the same value as that of their jobs, which may be working as an office worker or store manager.

When I go to clean a house, I go with this desire to show to our employers that they need us probably just as much their employers need them and their work. I have had a lot of very good experiences which says a lot about the work that I do… if I do a good job then my employers will like that and be very content with hiring me.

The only thing I want is for our work to be recognized, because domestic work has never been recognized. It is for this reason we are fighting, so that our work is recognized, that we are respected and, why not say it, that one day we are admired.



BANNER PHOTOGRAPH BY JOSEPH CULTICE, PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIO RECORDING BY ALISON YIN.