Theme: Families

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 what it is like to be apart from their loved ones.

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:I1-It is not easy to be here without your family. We miss them a lot. We are here for money so that our children can study at home and have what we didn’t have. We sacrifice a lot. It is better to have love than material things.

I6- To be standing all day makes you tired. But sometimes, when you are working, cleaning fish, you start thinking of your father or sometimes your mother and you think “ I'll send my check this week for this (back home)” and you are always thinking about your people.

I11- Over there maybe one lives with scarce resources but you are with your family, as a woman who is married and maybe you have problems with your husband, you need a lot of support from your parents. But here, you come to suffer these things and your family is far away. You long for these things and it is difficult. The change from there to here is very difficult. All of it is very hard  . . .Sometimes your parents get sick and you are not with them, that is why sometimes I pray to God I say “Lord, don’t let anything bad happen to my parents while I am here.” If something was to happen, or one of my parents died while I was here and I was unable to see or help them… I know they will die one day but I ask God to let me go and be with them, to see them and to go live with them. Because it is hard to be here to hear that “we already buried your father or we already buried your mother” --  that’s so hard and I have heard of cases like this here. You have it in mind that your parents are still alive, but this scares me so much. And that is why I think maybe we will stay just one or two more years here and I will go back.

I6 - You can never be the same as who you are with your family. When you are sick or have problems and your family is over there, so you are never alone when you occupy a space in someone’s heart.