By Darlene DeVita
(The following is one in a series of sneak peeks at the upcoming People of Chelsea additions by Photographer Darlene DeVita. The new work will ultimately appear on the fence of the Chelsea Public Library (CPL) this fall in a collaboration between the People of Chelsea project and the CPL.)
In 1993 I came directly to Chelsea from Puerto Rico because my family was here. I found a job quickly. I worked in construction. I live here [now] with my 19-year-old son.
When I first came, it was better. There were a lot of jobs and the rent was affordable. I had an apartment with three bedrooms for $300, and the heat was included. I used to know my neighbors, and there was communication. Now everyone is on their own. The rents went from $300 to $1000 or $1,500. Other things also became more expensive little by little. Salaries stayed the same. I had no health insurance or benefits. It was hard. There is some help from the government for rent and [I have] food stamps.
I started meditating. I find the meditation helpful. I am here in Chelsea but my mind is all over the universe. It is something [that I feel] connects to everybody, everybody.