In response to the swearing-in of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States a diverse crowd of demonstrators gathered to promote equality and inclusivity, and protest what attendees said are exclusive policies of the new administration.
Diego Flores stands in front of his family home on the 3000 block of West Orchard Street in Milwaukee’s Burnham Park neighborhood. Flores, who has been in Milwaukee since he was a young child, says though the city has its challenges it has some bright spots, as well. “When you grow up in such a diverse community, you always meet different types of people. They’re not necessarily always gonna be good, so you’re not necessarily gonna be always makin’ the good decisions. I definitely [had] my troubles as a teenager — I committed some crimes,” he says, adding that it wasn’t anything serious. “I love Milwaukee. There’s honestly, like—there’s no other city I would rather live in right now.”
Diego Sebastian pushes his cart of elotes (boiled or grilled corn on the cob), papas (hot and spicy Mexican potatoes) and chicharrones (fried pork rinds) up South 30th Street, honking a loud horn. Sebastian, who’s been in Wisconsin for 10 years, is trying to attract customers. “Me, I push carts,” he says, as he scans the street. “[There’s] nobody outside, no have monies.”
Primitivo Cortes sits on a short brick wall that frames the garden next to his home in Walker’s Point. Cortes, 60, smokes a cigarette in his work uniform, a collared, grey shirt that displays his first name. Primitivo was born in Mexico but came to Milwaukee in 1994. “Better opportunities, better jobs.” he says. “In Mexico the situation is terrible.”
As storm clouds gather over Humboldt Park, Carlos Avila and Erika Coria dance and teach a group of youngsters. Avila and Coria are part of Ballet Folklorico Mexico de los Hermanos Avila, a dance company that teaches and performs traditional forms of Mexican dance. Today, it is traditional Aztec dance.
Yolanda Mora lives in Milwaukee with her two daughters but that wasn’t always the case – she grew up in Michoacán, Mexico. What’s her favorite thing about her home country? “Oh, it’s beautiful…I like the people, there’s a lot of water, a lot of trees.” Mora says that the people in both Michoacán and Milwaukee are the same but there are more jobs here. “It’s hard, right…in Mexico, the people have no money and, here, there’s a little more money,” she said.