I spent part of this past week in Green River, Utah as a guest of Epicenter whose mission statement reads “Epicenter stewards creative initiatives that honor the past, strengthen the present, and build the future that we envision alongside our community”. My engagement with Epicenter involved spending time with an extended Mexican family that moved to Green River in 2011 and who run a food truck with the best Mexican food in southern Utah. The family’s journey to Green River took a circuitous route. Upon leaving Veracruz, Mexico in 1992 the family first settled in Compton, California just in time for the Rodney King riots. Carlos Cruz, the patriarch of the family, works as a long distance trucker and was familiar with Green River from his trips between Compton and Colorado. Although life in Compton was challenging the kids of Carlos and Obdulia were reluctant to move to this little town in southern Utah but having been there now for 11 years they’ve grown to like it and call it home.
I was invited to do an installation on their building where the food truck is parked. However, when I went to meet the family in early March 2022 Obdulia was visiting a sick family member in California. So I met with Obdulia’s daughter, Jessenia who shared with me family photos from 30 years back and they became the source material for the installation at their food truck stand.
So the next time you’re cruising I-70 between Moab + Richfield stop by to say hey and get some good food. And tell them I sent you!