Theme: Children

Interviewee: Anonymous

Role: Seafood processing workers

Date of Interview: 2007 to 2010

Collection: New Bedford Processing Workers 2007-2010

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract:Immigrant women processing workers talk about the sacrifices they make, often leaving their children to come to the United States to work.

Many Central American women are employed in New Bedford’s seafood processing industry.  These exhibits were created using excerpts from oral history interviews with 15 of these women.  Each exhibit is thematic and includes the voices of several women.  The interviews were conducted in Spanish. An English language transcript is provided. 

Transcript:I5-It was very hard because I wanted to bring my daughter with me. I wanted to bring her but since my father had already traveled on the road [to the U.S.], he told me not to bring her because it was very dangerous, and I could lose her, and that it would be better to leave her with them . . . So finally I left her, but I felt very sad while I was traveling, I kept thinking and remembering my daughter. It would get dark at night in the mountains while we were walking even when we could lay down I couldn't sleep just thinking about my little girl . . . Ay I was so sad and desperate.  I was here with my husband but I missed my daughter so much.  I didn't eat and just thought about my little girl. People told me that it was good that I made it here but I missed my daughter, I suffered so much. We all suffer in this country. Everyone. It's not just me who leaves behind their children, many of us do, many children are left abandoned.

I2 Sometimes your plan isn’t what you think. (Interviewer: How long have you been living here now?) I left my son over there when he was two years old. Next year, in 2008, he will turn twelve years old. To leave a loved one is the hardest thing and the most difficult,  but in the moment of dreaming of coming to the United States, you don’t care about how hard it is or what the consequences are. One doesn’t think it through. One comes to reason after the fact when the consequences have already happened. One regrets it a lot, just like I do now. If I would have thought about it, I would have brought my son and I wouldn’t have thought of the risks and my son would be with me today. But like I said before, the emotion let me forget the person that was most close to me. When I left, I forgot about him when I left, it was as if I was a single person without anyone. But when I arrived in Mexico, my son started to appear in my dreams and I cried bitterly but then there wasn’t any way back because I had already traveled half way.