- Interview with Miguel Romero / Una Entrevista con Miguel Romero
- Interview with Miguel Romero
This interview took place on May 11, 2007, in Piedra Gorda, Veracruz, Mexico.
ROWELL: Were you born here, in Piedra Gorda?
ROMERO: I was born here.
ROWELL: But you moved away from here at an early age with your parents?
ROMERO: Yes. I was about six years old when we went to South Carolina.
ROWELL: Do you remember any of your life here from the time you were born until you left at six years old?
ROMERO: I just remember that my dad was working. We would see all the people here cutting cane. That's the only thing I remember. I was a little kid. I never knew too much.
ROWELL: And you've come back here? This is your second time coming back?
ROMERO: Yeah, this is my second time.
ROWELL: When was your first time?
ROMERO: My first time was in December.
ROWELL: What was your impression when you came back again?
ROMERO: I was glad to see my grandma and my cousins and my family. That's all. Now I've got friends, too.
ROWELL: This is your second visit, so would you describe what this visit has meant to you? [End Page 76]
ROMERO: I just came here to learn how to work because if you look around here and in the U.S., it's not the same.
ROWELL: What do you mean by that?
ROMERO: See, we work here. We don't earn a lot of money. And over there, in the United States, we do. It's more money over there than down here. And here, if you buy something it's more expensive than up there.
ROWELL: What kind of work do you do here?
ROMERO: Here, you get up at six o'clock in the morning and you have to be working at seven o'clock.
ROWELL: Doing what?
ROMERO: You have to be in the field: cutting the long grass and clearing the fields. I've got uncles who have to go cut lemons.
ROWELL: Do you pick them?
ROMERO: Yeah. We have to pick the big ones. See, we do have a lot of things, but we don't earn a lot of money.
ROWELL: So they own these fields?
ROMERO: Some people do. And some don't.
ROWELL: What about your uncle?
ROMERO: Some of these fields, he owns.
ROWELL: How many?
ROMERO: It's not much, just two and a half hectares.
ROWELL: How much money does he get for the lemons?
ROMERO: I don't know how much he gets, but he pays me about $120.
ROWELL: Is that enough for him to take care of his family? [End Page 77]
ROMERO: Well, for him, yes. It's good.
ROWELL: He can take care of his family? What about those people who don't have land?
ROMERO: Well, it's hard for them.
ROWELL: How do they live?
ROMERO: You have to work. But it's not too much—the amount of money you get down there. In the United States, $100 or $200 is good. Over here, that's a lot of money. So that's why people from here go up there: to work, because they want to earn some money. Right now, I want to go back, because it's not the same here as it is there.
ROWELL: Will you return?
ROMERO: I'll probably return in three or two weeks.
ROWELL: Do you go to school there?
ROMERO: No. I finished school.
ROWELL: You finished high school?
ROMERO: Last year.
ROWELL: Did you want to attend university?
ROWELL: And your parents are going to stay in the U.S.?
ROMERO: They're coming back this May.
ROWELL: To live?
ROMERO: No, just to visit.
ROWELL: What do you think of life in South Carolina as opposed to here?
ROMERO: In the United States, it's good. I like it because there are a lot more benefits there than over here. The president in Mexico is not a good man. I like it better...