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  • An Interview with Roberta and Socima Virgen CID / Una Entrevista con Roberta and Socima Virgen CID
  • Charles H. Rowell and Marcus Jones
  • An Interview with Roberta and Socima Virgen CID1
  • Charles H. Rowell and Marcus Jones

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Brandon Kevin Ortiz Morales
Mata Clara, Mexico

Photo by Marcus D. Jones © 2007

This interview was recorded in February 22, 2007, in Mata Clara, Veracruz, Mexico.

ROWELL: Have you lived here your whole life?

ROBERTA: We were both born here. I was born and raised here.

ROWELL: What changes have you seen occur in the community: social, physical, or cultural?

ROBERTA: During my childhood, my adolescence, there wasn't anything. We lived as God helped us. Later, we started leaving here to go work in whatever was available. Then we returned; later I married. I was married for almost forty years. My husband just died a month and a half ago. I'd say we lived normally, because everyone has problems. I don't know what other kind of changes there could be.

JONES: Haven't there been changes made to the streets?

ROBERTA: Back then there were only foot-paths. Now we have streets. We even have sidewalks. Yes, everything changed. The town grew because there were at most ten houses when I was a teenager here. But now we're not going to fit.

ROWELL: Would one of the changes be that more people are now going to the United States to work or have they been doing that since you were a child?

ROBERTA: No, it's recent. It's been about twenty years since they started to leave. I have a daughter and it's about to be fifteen years since she left. We haven't seen her since, because she left as an illegal immigrant. And me as an illegal immigrant? I'm too old for that. The Border Patrol would catch me immediately. Who knows when my daughter will come home?

JONES: Do you know why people leave for the U.S.? [End Page 36]

SOCIMA: My sons left because there's hardly any work here that can help them settle. The two who are in the U.S. are barely in the fields. Here they used to play ball and they were beginning to earn a living. But ultimately, they went to the U.S. I have one son here. He's the only male relative I have here. He works down at the sugar refinery plant in San José.

ROBERTA: He's a day laborer.

SOCIMA: He's a day laborer. He's never gone to the U.S. He's always been here. Because he has a stable job, he hasn't moved from here.

ROBERTA: Some of them leave. They go looking for a better life. There are some who do succeed, but others just leave for the sake of the adventure-to live well in the United States. Their families are here and they're over there, but there are now a lot of very beautiful houses. They belong to the men who go looking for a better life.

JONES: I know that in Mexican culture the family is very important. What impact does a husband's leaving his wife have on his family-especially when he stays in the U.S. working for three or four years?

ROBERTA: If those of us with children who leave suffer, I would say that those with husbands must suffer even more. We suffer when they leave, wondering if they will make it there alive or if they won't arrive. Once they're there, we worry-but not as much as we do when they're on the road. With the husbands, who knows how their families must live, because I would say it's more difficult. The men look for other women. Sometimes they remember that they left a family here, but sometimes they don't. That's not the case with other men-other men do come and go. They come back and check on their families.

SOCIMA: And what can I tell you? Because my sons do come back.

ROWELL: I've noticed that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6512
Print ISSN
0161-2492
Pages
pp. 36-225
Launched on MUSE
2008-09-14
Open Access
No
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