DALLAS, TX -- For some, the DREAMer movement is one of the new civil rights movements of our time, and come Saturday, the unveiling of a sculpture dedicated to this group of young Latinos gives them the tribute they deserve.
The sculpture, which is housed at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas, is a first of its kind. An angel of sorts – with the body of a woman and two small wings – represents divine guidance, says local artist Eliseo Garcia, 68, who created the piece.
Affectionately named the “Guardian of the DREAMers,” Garcia says he was inspired to create a piece to let all DREAMers know they’re not alone.
“You’re never alone, you just keep trying – whatever it is you’re trying to do, you just go for it, and there’ll be someone there to help you, someone there to advise you, someone to guide you, so that’s the symbolic aspect of it,” said Garcia.
The three-piece sculpture is made up of two limestone rocks that sit on a granite foundation – all purchased from a quarry in nearby Liberty Hill, Texas, and a project Garcia says slowly evolved. It took him nearly three years to complete.
“An artist doesn’t always know, but for some reason this really worked. I’m talking about humanity and spirituality and that’s life, only in different terms,” he says.
For DREAMer Gaby Pachecho, 30, who is flying in from out of state to attend the ceremony over the weekend, the piece is a testament to the efforts her community has put forth.
“It’s such a privilege to have a sculpture to honor the work,” she says. “It’s important for our children and our legacy, and for the future generations to come; for them to see what’s possible.”
Pachecho, 30, a Civil Rights activist widely recognized for being at the forefront of the movement since high school, says the work is a lifelong commitment, so she focuses on small victories, Saturday being one of them.
“It’s such a privilege - It’s important for our children and our legacy, and for future generations to come - to see what’s possible," says nationally renowned DREAMer Gaby Pacheco.
“It’s a heavy word, but this is a fight for freedom. Freedom from fear, freedom from us not being able to use our talents, freedom from bosses who want to take advantage of us, and freedom to be able to live our lives and find our happiness,” she said.
“Saturday will be a moment of celebration,” she added.
Miguel Solis, 29, the President of the Latino Center for Leadership Development in Dallas, an organization working to highlight the experience of Latinos in America, says the group realized a need for a sculpture of this caliber and that’s when they approached the Latino Cultural Center and the city to make the dedication happen.
A former teacher, Solis also sits on the Dallas Independent District School Board, and says Latinos in public policy can make a big impact in society. They just need the right tools to get there, he says. And DREAMers, specially, need to be acknowledged and uplifted.
The formal dedication of the sculpture will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas.