Local Artist Helps Children Dealing With Deportation
CHARLOTTE, NC- The immigration issue hits close to home for a number of families right here in Charlotte. Now a local artist is helping children of deported immigrants express themselves with crayons, paper and a kite.
Gladis Mendieta is 15 years old, her father, an undocumented immigrant was deported two weeks ago, "He was always encouraging us in everything we did, he always believed in us and everything we did." Last Fall Gladis along with her two younger sisters attended a workshop to help children affected by deportation express their feelings through art, "I didn't really want to talk about it so I drew all my hopes and dreams, not just mine but my families."
The artworks is part of Papalote Project, or Kite Project. Mint Hill artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner started the project to help children of deported immigrants express themselves, "They put their emotions on a piece of paper or make a collage and then release those emotions into the air and just let it go."
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement more than 400,000 people were deported from the United States in 2012. Roaslia saw how these separations affected the children of the deportees, "I remember this kid drew his dad with handcuffs and he is in the car just looking at the police."
And while the pain for kids like Gladis is an on-going battle, "Now after what we've been through it's made our future uncertain." If you look closely, you can see how each kite has brought a little light of hope in each child's life.