Cesar Osvaldo Mendez Portillo
My name is Cesar Osvaldo Mendez Portillo. I’m from El Salvador in Central America.
My painting is one kind of art in my country very popular in my home La Palma Chalatenango because we make handicrafts with this kind of art. I left my country to change everything in my life on January 29, 2017 and arrived in Minnesota on January 30.
My family was artisans, and we did handicrafts, so I brought that knowledge.
For my people, work is very important. We Salvadorians are excellent workers. We brought that here to the US, and that is intangible. My painting shows things about work.
The man with the hat means: we don’t care about the conditions for work. We don’t care if is it is sunny or raining where we work because we want the best future for us. Also represents how the Latino family and friends are close to each other; that’s why the houses are together.
The mountains represent where I grew up with fresh air and many clouds. The big bird represents peace for my country and my city. After some years of civil war, my city had the first dialogue for peace in my country.
This is why my city is called the “cradle of peace.” Everything in my landscape helps me remember a lot of my country. I brought my art to the United States to show peace, work, love for nature, and respect.
Lastly, the sun in my painting represents how happy we Latinos are even when many people in the US hate us and persecute us just because we want a better future.