Becoming Mexican is a personal photography project created by Carly Diaz, a Portland-based photographer and creative director, that aims to explore Mexican heritage and cultural identity. By seeking out people, food, products, places, and stories with a connection to Mexico, she aims to forge a relationship with the country of her paternal ancestors. In addition, Becoming Mexican provides a platform to counter the current political framing of immigrants and to showcase the incredible work of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and the creative force they add to the world.


I’m a half-Mexican, native Oregonian, with a heart shaped like the Netherlands and a constant craving for Korean food.

My paternal great-grandparents were from Guadalajara, Jalisco and came north during the Mexican Revolution. My father was raised in south side Chicago with a steady stream of Spanish and tamales, but a stronger interest in rock music and the open road. My (German heritage) mother was raised in a traditional American household on the Oregon coast.

I’ve been privileged to travel the world and live in Rome, Seoul, and Amsterdam. My work has taken me across North American, Europe, Africa, and Asia. But I’ve never had the chance to get to know Mexico.

It’s time.