Rexistrau: 14 Xun 2011
|Publicao: Sab Feb 11, 2017 9:28 am Asuntu: Monumento a La Madre del Emigrante
|Monumento a La Madre Del Emigrante
(More than just a Statue)
The statue of Mother Emigrante located at the Port of Gijon was erected in remembrance of those Asturians who did not return to Spain after the great Asturian migration between 1905 and 1920. It symbolizes a mother who says goodbye to her children knowing that she will never see them again. I do not know if my paternal grandparents, Manuel and Manuela Alvarez were there to see my father and uncle Ramon leave Asturias. I have been told that my grandfather sold cattle to finance the cost of the trip. Further, I also know that Dad and Uncle Ramon were not accompanied with an adult and were not allowed to enter the United States at Ellis Island and instead had to go to Cuba first.
Luckily, my father and uncle had Asturian cousins living in Havana, Cuba who helped them until their older brother, Angel brought them into this country at Key West, Florida, on January 20, 1920. On January 23, 1920, they along with their siblings, Angel and Josephine, were recorded in the 1920 US Census as living in Anmoore, West Virginia.
Some of the immigrants like my aunt Josephine and her family would return because of the great depression that eliminated many jobs for immigrants. Without work, Asturians left this country and many never came back. Her three children, my first cousins were American citizens by birth.
Mother Emigrante also holds out hope for those who did return like my uncle Ramon who lived on the family farm in Vega Peridiellos for several years before dying of a stroke. I am not sure when the statue was erected. A sadness overcomes me when I reflect on the statue's meaning and my late father leaving his home at the age of seventeen. I know that my grandparents wanted a better life for him and his siblings. Certainly, he wanted the same for me and my siblings.
Dad would sometimes wax sentimental about returning for a visit with his family. My late sister and I would search for ships sailing to Spain and pass along the information to him; however, he always changed his mind, and we never knew the reason.
I believe that the artist who sculpted the statue captured the very essence of a mother's emotions who is there to say goodbye to her children knowing that they will never see each other again. I know how it felt when we place our son on a flight to Norfolk, Virginia, and then again some years later for a trip to England. Even, leaving our son at college, was emotional for us; although, it was temporary. I left home in February, 1972, and remember how Dad became emotional over my leave taking.
Mother Emigrante speaks volumes about a great love of children who leave their homes and parents never to return. She also represents a longing of the heart to be reunited with our Asturian families.
Manny --- ( I heard the soul of the crowd call my name, and it ran deep through the heart)