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  • Interview with Cenodrina Virgen Flores and Cipriana López Blanco / Una Entrevista con Cenodrina Virgen Flores y Cipriana López Blanco
  • Charles H. Rowell, Marcus Jones, and Florentino Flores Castro
  • Interview with Cenodrina Virgen Flores and Cipriana López Blanco
  • Charles H. Rowell, Marcus Jones, and Florentino Flores Castro

This interview took place on February 21, 2007, in Mata Clara, Veracruz, Mexico.

JONES: What is your name?

FLORES: Cenodrina Virgen Flores.

JONES: And your name?

BLANCO: Cipriana López Blanco.

ROWELL: How long have you lived here in Mata Clara? All of your life?


BLANCO: Me, too.

ROWELL: I noticed when we drove through that there aren't many men around. Are the men normally working during the day?

FLORES: Yes, they all work.

JONES: And what do the women normally do during the day?

FLORES: What do we do during the day? We work. We do the housework. We handwash clothes. It's almost all we do: wash clothes and cook.

BLANCO: The thing is her husband, who was my son, died. One of my other sons also died shortly after her husband died.

So the two of us work. I work because two of my sons died, almost at the same time. She works washing other people's clothes. I don't because I'm old. I can't hand-wash any [End Page 45] more. I can't do anything anymore. If I were the same age as she, I would wash clothes. But I can't do it anymore. I'm too old to be washing so many clothes.

JONES: May I ask you how old you are?

BLANCO: How old I am? Young man, if I tell you I'll frighten you. Look here, I'm 85 years old. That's how old I am. That's why I can't work anymore. I can't do anything anymore. My daughters are the ones who help me. The one who lives over there in front of the park is the one who helps me. But if she didn't, who knows what would become of me? But there's nothing like working for yourself and having your own money so that you won't have to be dependent on others.

ROWELL: You've lived in this community all of your life. What are some of the major changes that you've seen occurring here throughout your life? And what do you think of those changes?

BLANCO: We were both born and raised here. When my dad got married there were no houses here except for the one my parents had. I was raised here. Here at the house where we lived, seeing as how there were few houses, my dad got the idea to look for a teacher to give us classes—because there were only a few of us kids. In the house where we lived, that's where our school was. I must've been about seven or eight years old when they started forming the communal lands. They had the meetings in our house as well. That's where the zoning chief would come. From then on they started to divide up the land, in my dad's house. I know quite well how all this came to be. But people don't believe me. They say it's not true. But it is.

ROWELL: And what do you think?

FLORES: I didn't know anything about that. She's older.

BLANCO: She didn't know. She's from another generation.


BLANCO: Yes, but I do. I know how all this came to be.

JONES: But what do you think of the changes that have taken place here?

BLANCO: What kinds of changes?

JONES: For instance, I would imagine there weren't paved streets here before.

BLANCO: Oh, no. [End Page 46]

FLORES: Only little footpaths.

BLANCO: There were only a few houses. They were far away, not like they are now. Now, the houses are close together. But before, there were no streets, just trails.

FLORES: They were footpaths. Small, like this.

BLANCO: Little tiny footpaths. A little house was over there and another one way over...


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