People of Chelsea: Jhon and Elizabeth – September 22, 2021

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.)

Here’s a sweet story.  My colleague Sarah and I were waiting across the street from City Hall for a scheduled shoot. While waiting, we saw a lovely family come out of City Hall with such joy and, well, wearing white. “It’s a wedding. We must photograph them!”  [Sarah is my bilingual interpreter].  The couple doesn’t live in Chelsea, BUT they love Chelsea!

Jhon and Elizabeth were with their parents, who flew in from Columbia for the wedding.  They live in East Boston but came to Chelsea City Hall to get married.  Jhon works in a car wash, and Elizbeth is a pre-school teacher in Winthrop.

Jhon – We like this City Hall, and also we like this city, so that’s why we came here to get married. 

Eliz – And it’s all close by. We can find many things on Broadway, like places to get nails done, the pharmacy, places to eat.

Jhon – what I like about Chelsea is that I feel at home here, like I was in my own country, because there are many Latinos, and I think the Latinos have a lot of taste, different culture, and I like to feel close to my country, Colombia. I come from the city of Medellin.

Eliz- I’m also from Colombia and Medellin. We met here [in Boston], in a bar. In East Boston. At Barney’s. He was watching the soccer game, and then he was jumping with his long hair, and I was like, oh my god, look at that skinny boy with the long hair. And then my best friend knew him from a long time ago, and I was like, I need to meet that guy. And then we started talking…

Eliz – I’ve been here 13 years. I just became a citizen 4 months ago. Now I have all of my family living here. I have my sister, little brother, mother, and husband!

Jhon – And I have my new wife, and my uncle, in East Boston. I came to the US because the economic life is better here than in our country, so I came trying to find opportunities because I think this is a country where one can get ahead more easily. I have been here 4 years. I came by plane, with a visa. I didn’t have any problems getting here.

We’re thinking about going on a honeymoon. We want to go to Los Angeles. Next week we’re going to the waterfall [Niagara].

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