The Places I Call Home
By Florencia Micaela Pinto
I put together this collection of photos as a tribute to the places that are part of my life and feel like home. For me, home is both places and emotions. That is why I included photos of the physical places and descriptions of my memories there. Since moving from Peru to the U.S. two years ago, I’ve been reflecting on my sense of identity and what home means to me. I know that many people who immigrate feel this way. This piece sends the message that it’s okay if you feel like you come from more than one place or have more than one home.
A volcano located at the exit of my city Arequipa. The volcano that always welcomes me home.
Queens, New York
Returning home after a long day of school, accompanied by a pink sky reminding me that even in a city as gray as New York, you can still find the beauty of nature.
Amaicha or the Tafi, a paradise in the middle of nowhere. The only place where you can find absolute peace with skies full of stars every night.
First Spring in New York
Central Park, New York
I remember those big trees and their fresh scent on that 2018 cloudy afternoon in Central Park.
One of the most beautiful places I know. A little treasure of mine, full of memories with my sister Camila.
Where am I from? Since I was little, I have tried to come up with an answer. But the truth is I don’t know. Is it possible to have more than one home? Home for me is the country I was born in and the countries my parents and their parents were born in. Home is language, traditions, food, people, memories, the places I carry in my heart wherever I travel. That is why I appreciate photography. You can capture a place, moment, or feeling in a single image. This work allowed me to explore a different side of my creativity, challenging myself to tell stories not through words but photographs.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Florencia Micaela Pinto & Mentor Madeline McSherry
Micaela’s Anecdote: The first time I met Maddy, I felt somewhat intimidated. Not by her, but for my English, which I worried wasn’t good enough. But with only a few words, I felt that good vibe Maddy carries with her. Our sessions are not only for writing; we’ve created a friendship. I learned we had more in common than I thought: we both speak Spanish, we’ve lived abroad, and we love cats. Maddy inspires me to grow as a writer, making me feel comfortable with my ideas and abilities. Together, we’ve created pieces that I proudly present to the world.
Madeline’s Anecdote: The day I met Micaela at orientation, she confessed that she did not like reading her work out loud. Moments later, after a group writing exercise, Micaela’s hand shot into the air. She shared her beautiful, perceptive reflection out loud, and when she finished, smiled and whispered, “That was scary.” Micaela is thoughtful, intelligent, and inherently brave, pushing herself to the edge of what’s comfortable in order to grow. Having decided to leave Peru and finish high school in the United States, she embodies what it means to choose challenge over comfort, and inspires me to do the same.
Florencia Micaela Pinto is a senior in high school. She was born in September 2003 in Queens, New York and spent her childhood in Peru. At the age of 14, she returned to New York to complete her studies. She plans to study medicine. Previously, she interned at the non-profit RPGA Studio, where she focused on solving community issues through art. As a mentee with Girls Write Now, she has written different pieces including her personal essay “La Tierra me Llama,” a short story called "505," and, most recently, her poem "These Days.''