Going Home (Pt. 1) / by Carl Fonticella

I currently write this as I sit in the terminal of the Cleveland airport, waiting for my flight to Houston and then off to Mexico. I’ll be a photo intern for the NGO Vision for the Poor, documenting the work that they do along with creating photo stories about the people who use their services. 

What makes this internship special is that for the first time ever I’ll be going to the homeland. My entire family is Mexican, but my mom came across the border to Laredo, Texas so that when I was born I’d be a naturalized United States citizen. Afterwards, she went back home to Monterrey, and I was adopted into an American family. The only bit I know of her is her last name and that she’s from Monterrey. 

I’m not really sure what I should be feeling right now. It’s kind of a mix of excitement, anxiety, and a combination of a whole bunch of emotions that are swirling around; I guess we’ll see what I feel when we touch down in Mexico. You’d think that I’d be beaming with happiness right now, knowing that by the end of the day I’ll be in the country that I’ve called home my whole life but have never gone too. Rather, I’m sitting here with a rather blank face; to be honest, I think it’s more because I got up at 6 in the morning than anything.

Regardless, I’m super excited to start this internship come Monday morning, so keep along on here and my other social media platforms to see what I create! Next stop, Mexico (but not without this initial 3 hour flight to Houston)! 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I’m now in Mexico, and my arrival was not treated with a warm welcome; at least from Mother Nature that is. The flight into Monterrey was really bumpy, and as soon as the driver picked me up to take me to the clinic in the small town of Montemorelos, the rain started to pour. 

I had only ever seen rain like this one time prior, and that was when I was in Natal, Brazil during my internship with US Soccer. There, the roads were pretty inundated, but they weren’t unnavigable or washed out. On the way in towards Montemorelos the roads were flooded, with many times the driver going through water at least a foot deep. 

We stopped off at this restaurant on the side of the road called “El Pariente” where Armando (the driver) and I had tacos, beer, and watched Monterrey FC take on Tigres in the quarterfinals of the Mexican soccer league (Monterrey won 4-3 on aggregate). The food was amazing, reminding me that we Mexicans really do have the best food on Earth. 

Even though it’s Monday and the beginning of the work week, I technically am starting tomorrow. I’ll gradually be taking portraits of all of the workers here at the clinic in Montemorelos, and I’ll also be taking photos of surgeries that take place and other happenings around. 

That’s it for now, and I’ll try my best to keep this blog updated with what I’m doing here in Mexico. Hasta luego!