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woodcut (reductive) on mulberry paper



I have always been fascinated by tales of my grandfather swimming across the Rio Grande to

move to the United States. As a child, I was enchanted by the symbolism of swimming into a

new life. Like a natural baptismal font, the Rio Grande cleanses immigrants of their past lives,

rebirthing them into new opportunities. However, this new life has always come at a cost. In

2015, an estimated 170,000 immigrants made the journey across the Mexico-U.S. border. Often

carrying nothing but backpacks and water jugs, these immigrants travel on foot through the

hundred-degree desert heat of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Dehydration,

exhaustion, injury, and hypothermia claim the lives of hundreds each year. In Fueron Bautizados, I juxtapose my grandfather’s symbolic baptism with my literal baptism at the hands of a white pastor in a Lutheran church.

Fueron Bautizados

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