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Lorena Carrillo: Acting out Confidence

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"In the La Colectiva theater group, I took what I didn’t know I had inside me and transformed myself into a woman who is stronger and more sure of herself."

Read English transcript

My name is Lorena, and I am a member of La Colectiva, a project of La Raza Centro Legal. I emigrated to the United States for my sister, supposedly on vacation. Upon arrival here my sister told me she didn't have a return ticket for me, and that I should make an effort here an try to make a life here. I was so sad because I wanted to go back to Mexico

In the end I stayed and moved to San Francisco to become a nanny. After ten years working as a nanny, I began my own destiny and joined La Colectiva, which I learned about through a friend from school. I asked her, "What's it about?” She said, "Flyering to get cleaning jobs." "I don't like that," I told her. "Come on” she told me, ‘Lorena, put your feet on the ground.” And I tried it. Flyering helped me get to know San Francisco. Before I came to La Colectiva, I felt like a scared little bunny rabbit - I was frightened of everything. Now, with the flyering, the facilitation trainings, and my participation in the theater group, I feel stronger.

We performed a theater piece in public that is about the real life of immigrant women: about their lives here in the United States, the importance of using less toxic cleaning products, and the challenges of surviving in a country with obstacles like language and racism. Because there is a lot of discrimination in our work, and even on the street, people see us as lesser to them because we are carrying all of our things, the cleaning products we are taking to work, and they see as us lesser than them which makes us feel bad. Being in the theater group I took what I really didn't even know that I had inside me, and I transformed myself into a woman who is stronger and more sure of herself.



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