by Leo Bañuelos
An eight day exploration into the lives of distant family members in Mexico. Bañuelos documents his day-to-day through analog photography and journal entries.
“Pocho” is short for Pochotitán, a small town located in the rural mountains of Nayarit, Mexico. Estimated population of 1600 people with a rich history of gold mining in the early 20th century. Sugar cane, agave, and other tropical fruits are now considered the main export. This is where he left to start his life in the United States.
“Pocho” is also a slang term, considered derogatory by some, used to describe Mexicans who have lost touch with their culture or could be considered Americanized. The word is derived from the Spanish word “pocho,” which is used to describe fruit that has become rotten or discolored. Alan Chazaro states, “It has been reclaimed by artists, poets, and scholars as a term of pride and acknowledgment. It’s a term of liberation and empowerment, of declaring your awareness of disconnection in order to reconnect with a purpose.” Victor Landa remarks, “A Pocho is Latino and American, a person who is at once both and neither, who can choose to speak English or Spanish or none of the above and refuse to be belittled by the choice. But here’s the greatest source of pride: a pocho is the end of a long journey, and also the promise of the journey to come.”