City of Boston’s art initiative “To Immigrants, With Love”
Come one, come all
Celina Colby | 8/16/2017, 10 a.m.
When Alex Castillo immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1996, he never imagined how successful he would be. Not only is he the owner of Digitech Electronic Solutions in Roslindale — an image of his face is on the side of a building.
Castillo was chosen recently to be a part of the City of Boston’s art initiative “To Immigrants With Love,” which celebrates local immigrant stories via murals in Roslindale and East Boston. The campaign was inspired by the “I Am An Immigrant” national campaign of the same name.
In addition to running Digitech, Castillo works with Fujitsu, the fifth largest IT service provider in the world, which hired him right out of school. Although juggling both jobs is challenging, he loves the work. “A guy coming all the way from the DR and being in this position, it’s really cool,” he says.
The tech guru’s likeness, painted by artist Jerome Jones, is on the side of Atlas Liquors on Hyde Park Avenue. He wears a simple black polo and stares directly at the viewer with a proud, content smile. The background is a rich red and a large, green flower frames Castillo’s face. Above his head floats the inscription “Siempre serán bienvenidos en la ciudad de Boston” (You are always welcome in the city of Boston).
The mural also pays homage to Louis White, a Russian immigrant in the early 1900s who opened the market, which eventually became a liquor store. His grandson, Louis Fine, still runs the place. Together, the businesses owners represent past and present, along with the continued success of local immigrants. Castillo says Roslindale’s “compassionate culture” has helped him build his business. “Most of my customers are from the area,” he says. “The community has been very supportive.”
Across town, the East Boston mural features two people: Carmello Scire, a Sicilian immigrant who founded a catering business still run by his grandson, Steve; and Veronica Robles, an activist and community educator who immigrated from Mexico in 2000. The Roslindale mural will be fully completed this week, while work on the East Boston mural, located on the side of Dr. Dental, is still underway.
Through hard work and a strong community, Castillo has found happiness and success in Boston. He believes the “To Immigrants With Love” project will inspire its viewers. “I hope people won’t give up on their dreams,” says Castillo. “I have been fighting for this, and I hope others see that they can fight, too.”