Video: Tamale Time 2010

Making tamales has been a family tradition every holiday season. Here's a clip of the Trujillo family tamale conveyer belt. Good times. I can smell the red chili and ojas from here.

My Life with a Disability

Here is a video interview I created for a contest I entered. I share my perspective on living my life as a person with a disability. Thank you to David Portillo for shooting all of the footage for this project.

The background song is "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

If someone walked up to you and said they’re 26-years-old and still live with their parents, what would be your first impression of that person?

Yeah, me too.

Normally, when someone thinks about a person like this, the first thing that comes to mind is a Jack-Black type (minus the fame, fortune, and cool personality) with a basement full of toys, a part-time job at a video game store and a severe shyness. They often times find themselves at home because of financial or social reasons. And while I have my fair share of “action figures” and social awkwardness, I am still at home for different reasons.

Since I became a quadriplegic, the idea of someday having a place of my own seemed more like a fantasy than reality. Because of my condition, I require full assistance for literally all everyday activities. So, the thought of being somewhere on my own didn’t seem to be possible.

Currently, my parents help me with pretty much everything, and without their help, I wouldn’t be here today. They have given me so much and I don’t know how I can ever repay them. But sometimes, I feel that my condition is a burden on my family and I don’t ever want them to feel like they are responsible for my well-being.

Our family dynamic would also make moving into a place of my own a very hard decision. We are a very close family and spend a lot of time together. From dinner at our grandparent’s house, to movie nights with my cousins, spending time with my family is very important to me. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins al live within 10 minutes of my house.

I also just want to say that me wanting to get a place of my own is not an indictment of my current living situation. I live in a great home and couldn’t ask for anything better. I just feel that while I’m at home, I can’t move on to the next chapter of my adult life.

Sometimes, I get embarrassed when I have to tell people that I still live with my parents. Granted, I’m sure they understand the reason, but it is still a little embarrassing none the less. I’m a college graduate with a great, full-time job and a good head on my shoulders. Any one else like me would have a place of there own by now; even if it is just a small, one-bedroom apartment.

I don’t want a mansion (yet), just a small place that I can call my own. A place where I can hang out with friends, have parties (maybe all nighters) and even maybe bring a date to (if I ever get one). I know that my condition will not allow me some of the same luxuries experienced by my able-bodied brethren, but I think I can make it work.

For now, I’ll continue thinking about how I can make it work and imagine what my future bachelor pad will look like.