In This Universe

by Alondra Zubia

In this world are amazing things that we can see, touch, smell, feel, dream and more; but, on the other hand, there are bad things too. We live in a society that encourages us to care only about ourselves, how to get more rich; a society where people judge others without knowing it, were the money is more important than everything, where humanity kills all the good things in its way. Wait … I’m not saying that everything is bad, but people aren’t robots—they don’t just want the colors black and white, a closed, small world where we can’t see and enjoying the beautiful and simple things around us that make us happy. I often feel that I’m from another planet or something like that—sometimes I just want to run away from everything and everyone. Sometimes I just want to feel free. I love to go to places where I can run, think, walk, climb, feel the fresh air stroking my skin, smell the special fragrance of life and nature. Where my eyes can take in beautiful landscapes, the night sky alight with millions of stars and an incredible moon. Oh God, we are so small in this universe.



by Alondra Zubia

Some years ago, on a normal day, a couple were smiling.  Happiness was upon them and love was in the air. In that moment, they are all that matters.

They are my parents and they have been married for 35 years. They are not perfect and have gone through many good times and bad ones, but they remain together. On the day of this photo, my mom wondered if my Dad wasn’t strong enough to lift her anymore; he only looked her and said, are you sure? And this magic moment was created.


Speak, Write, Listen

by Socheat Touch

I have been living in Denver for five years but it’s still frightening. Language is my main concern – it’s what makes me afraid to live here. Why would I say this? There are many languages around the world used on different continents. I come from the Asian continent and I’ve spoken and written the Cambodian language for 25 years, ever since I was born in my homeland. It was easy when I lived in my own country. I was a nurse and worked at a public hospital for 6 years. I used to be a highly-educated person, but now I’m just a person beginning to get a medical assistant degree again. I have a hard time improving my speaking, writing, and listening because I have to go to school five days a week. I’m working in a restaurant just to make money to pay the bills. I don’t need to use a lot of English while I’m working. I live with depression because I’ve become a person who doesn’t understand the people around me, can’t have a conversation. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost my hearing and sight because I can’t understand when people are saying something and I can’t understand what I read. I struggle when I work with people because I don’t get all they’re talking about. It’s hugely frustrating that I can’t use English in my day-to-day life.


Why I Love Denver So Much

by Sara Nassr

All of this has taught me the real reason I love Denver so much. I love it because it’s kind of empty, meaning there’s less human energy. For a highly sensitive person like myself, living in a city of 20 million could kill me—too emotional, too complex.



by Sungmee Ko

When she was a very small baby, she needed much care. 

I needed to take care almost everything. But these days, she’s growing up. She goes to school by herself. She can learn many things. After finishing school each day, she shares with me what she’s learned there. When I hear her speaking, I can see how she’s growing up. It’s amazing. It makes me happy. 

I remember when my daughter was born, she was so tiny little one. Her feet were so small. When she was 6 months, someone gave her shoes as gift. They fit her well. It was so cute. As time went on, she grew. Now she’s bigger than before.  


History and Science

by Yuliya Nekhai

I remember one beautiful day in Denver two years ago. I walked around the gorgeous park right next to my work. Deep blue and absolutely clean sky was reflected in the lake, where only lazy geese interrupted the perfection of the water. Squirrels jumped among still-fresh greenery and tried to steal something from the picnic baskets while people played volleyball and weren't paying attention at them.

Everybody was smiling, laughing, dancing and enjoying life. Everybody, except me. Do you know that type of feeling, when you want to be around people, but don't want them to notice you? When you want to run away from everything what you knew before? My mood was so opposite to this happiness around, felt like an alien on a celebration of life. But suddenly, as it usually happens in Colorado, the weather changed: cold wind brought dark heavy clouds, which covered clear sky in a second. It looked as though the rain would begin any moment and nobody was planning to get wet after whole day of sun. I didn't have umbrella or something to wear. My mind started to looking for a way out. I didn't really understand why I decided to walk in doors of Denver Museum of History and Science, but it was love from the first moment.

All of these interesting things arrested my attention, the kinds of things that inspire the imagination of kids and adults. Every single room is so different from each other, that you never can expect what kind of new world will be there. Nobody is hurrying, running, or stressing out here. People are spending time with families, children, friends and everyone can find something wonderful and to be passionate about. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Was exploring our environment from thousand years ago to future, being inside of human or traveling all aver in the universe. Is that not magic?

And they have a huge window with a beautiful view of the park and downtown. I sat there for a couple of hours, watching the sun set and crying. Because I’d finally found the place where my soul felt peace and calm, a place that give me energy to breathe again. Since this day, if I have any life questions, I know where to find the answers: The Denver Museum of History and Science.


No Matter What

by Raquel C Joyner

Once I was told that you must love your family, no matter what. Nowadays I don’t totally agree with this. It may seem weird, but I can explain. I think you should love people for what they are, for that inexplicable connection that you have. In this way, you will be able to love not just for love, but because you want to love, because they deserve to be loved.


A Part of Her

by Catalina Herrera

Her mom is from Chile and her father is American. I pick up her every day at school. She speaks to me in a funny and intermediate Spanish. She dazzles me because she is brave. Always, she wants to know everything, even why the stone in the way is there. She plays with her best friend, does what she has in mind, without fear, without thinking of the consequences. She turns her face, looks at me, laughs and keeps playing. Some time ago, almost crying and a little confused, she asked her parents where she belonged. Sometimes her soul and thoughts are older than 4 years. Every night her thin arms cross my neck in a very strong hug. As her aunt, I feel that she is hugging a part of her life so far from here, that she is trying to feel, touch and smell for the time that I will stay here.


My Sister's Car

by Gabriela Barboza

I always felt most peaceful in the big warm passenger seat next to the driver’s seat in my sister's car. I like that place because it makes me feel that everything it's okay. I relax—I just have to look out the window and enjoy the view. Everything there is magical: the trees moving while the car passes, the people walking and their different expressions, telling different stories, the ways that the sun touches my face while the car moves, music on the radio sounding from the bottom, making me remember all the good times in my life.



 by Guadalupe Canseco

One of the places in Denver that makes me feel peaceful is Washington Park. It’s one of the first places that I was familiar with, because it was close to my first home in Denver.
Walking there one early morning, you’ll see light is sparkling on the lake, reflecting the blue sky, trees, ducks that like to swim. If you continue walking around the park you will probably find a small bridge that can take you to the secret bench. It’s a green bench, the special one, yes the one that its behind of one of the oldest trees in Denver.

On this bench you can sit and talk with your thoughts and sometimes reach a deep understanding of you every day. It’s so magical that soon you can see many others beside you walking, biking, running, strolling, barking, flying; some others just like you singing and whistling with the fresh morning.


Fear of the Unknown

I pass by a beautiful flower bed every morning. It’s near the entrance to a business building on Lincoln and 17th. Every day, respectable men and women come in and out of this majestic building.

One morning, I saw a homeless man asleep there. It grieved me to look at this man, and reminded me that I’d seen many of the same people on the streets of Denver. This is awful to think about, awful when someone doesn’t have a roof over their head or a bed to sleep in. (In Moldova, we have many people unemployed, hard workers who can’t find jobs. But you don’t see them sleeping on the street.)

I can’t understand the causes of this problem, but that sight evokes my fear of the unknown.

In Russian:
Каждое утро я прохожу мимо чудесной клумбы. Она находится у входа в деловое здание на пересечении улиц Линкольна и 17-й авеню. И каждый день респектабельные мужчины и женщины входят в огромные стеклянные двери этого здания и выходят из них.

Однажды утром я увидела бездомного мужчину, спящего на этой клумбе. Мое сердце защемило от жалости к этому человеку и я вспомнила, что видела и раньше подобных людей на улицах Денвера. Я шла и думала, как это страшно, не иметь крышу над головой. В Молдове живут очень трудолюбивые люди , но, из-за ужасающей безработицы, они не могут найти работу. Но вы не увидите ни одного из них, спящего на улице.


By Victoria Dizghinjili, a refugee from Moldova
Written in August 2016, during an Emily Griffith Technical College class, a collaboration with Picture Me Here

Sunrise, Sunset

I like to take pictures of the sunset because it looks peaceful; it also reminds me my home in Vietnam. My home country is halfway around the world, so I don't usually go to visit. When I miss my home out there, I usually look at the sunset. The sunset in the US is the sunrise in Vietnam.

In Vietnamese:
Tôi thích chụp những bức hình về hoàng hôn bởi vì nó trông rất bình yên. Cảnh hoàng hôn còn gợi nhớ cho tôi về nhà của tôi ở Việt Nam. Quê hương của tôi thì cách nữa vòng trái đất, vì vậy tôi không thường xuyên về thăm quê. Những khi nhớ quê nhà tôi thường ngắm hoàng hôn. Hoàng hôn ở Mỹ là bình minh ở Việt Nam.


By Hanh Nguyen
Emily Griffith workshops for refugees
Fall 2016