The Walk of the Immigrants by Saul Flores

Saul Flores speaks at Millikin University for Hispanic Heritage Month

Cristina Borunda

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Saul Flores, a first-generation American, son of Mexican and Salvadoran parents, spoke at Millikin University on the afternoon of September 22nd. He was brought on by the University as a keynote speaker for Hispanic Heritage month. In his presentation, he shares his story as the son of immigrants and raises awareness of the struggles immigrants from Latin America face.

“It’s a love that’s rooted in sacrifice,” said Flores of his parents’ sacrifices for him and his sister as immigrants working to provide a better life for them.  

Flores talked about the struggles his parents and many other immigrants are escaping in their home countries. In an effort to discover his own identity, Flores took a service trip to Atencingo, Mexico, his mother’s hometown, while he was in college. While there, he found a purpose. 

“In an unexpected place, I discovered a community I was meant to serve.”

That’s when Flores began giving back to the community in Atencingo and got the inspiration for his project, “ The Walk of The Immigrants”, in which he spent three months walking through ten countries in Latin America to raise awareness of the difficulties immigrants face during these journeys. He photographed the journey and shared these powerful images with the audience during his talk. 

Flores engaged with the audience and had them share their own experiences of sacrifices other people had made for them. Flores gave insight into what the immigration process is like and the sacrifices that come with it. 

 “It gave a new perspective on immigration to the United States that Americans don’t really fully understand,” said Brianna Barconi, a senior at Millikin University, “I left…very emotional, about the journey. Immigrants have to go through just to live a better life. And then when they get here…they’re not treated the same. So it just shows you that our society needs to change the way that we perceive immigrants and how difficult it is to get here…it shouldn’t be that hard.” 

Flores made quite the impact on Millikin students and the faculty that attended. He gave the audience a different outlook on immigration through his talk and photographs.