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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Marcelo Herman
March 10, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.30
0:04 - Organizaciones cívicas y actividades sociales ecuatorianas en Brooklyn, Queens y New Jersey - Ecuadorian civic organizations and social activities in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey
7:24 - Razón por la proliferación de clubes ecuatorianos, trabajo caritativo de la Sociedad Tunguarahuense con el Hospital Metropolitano de Quito - Reasoning behind diversity of Ecuadorian clubs, Sociedad Tunguarahuense's charity work with the Quito Metropolitan Hospital
14:38 - Parada ecuatoriana, población sudamericana en Sunset Park, falta de colaboración entre latinos - Parade, South American population in Sunset Park, lack of collaboration among Latin Americans
22:48 - Paradas organizadas por otros grupos latinoamericanos - Parades organized by other Latin American groups
27:44 - Carrera como dirigente de fútbol, importancia del compromiso civil, Comité Cívico Ecuatoriano - Soccer manager career, importance of civic engagement, Ecuadorian Civic Committee
31:32 - Carnaval de Ambato en NY, tipos de música tocada en bailes ecuatorianos, orquestas ecuatorianas - Ambato Carnaval in NY, types of music played in Ecuadorian parties, Ecuadorian orchestras
38:08 - Cambio en las nacionalidades de los dueños de negocios, comerciantes ecuatorianos - Shift in nationalities of business owners, Ecuadorian business owners
41:12 - Representación de los latinos en los medios de comunicación, la importancia de los deportes, problemas de drogas - Portrayal of Latin Americans in the media, importance of sports, drug problems
45:02 - Razones para mudarse a NY, empleos, aprendizaje de inglés - Reasons for moving to NY, employment, learning English
Oral History Interview with Homero Melendez
Ecuadorian American Homero Melendez served as president of the Comité Cívico Ecuatoriano, an umbrella organization that groups together all the Ecuadorian associations and clubs in the New York City area. Melendez immigrated to New York City in 1970, and lived for a time in Manhattan's El Barrio. From the mid-1970s to the time of the 1989 interview, he was a resident of the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, and he speaks of the changes he has seen there since his arrival; especially the influx of Ecuadorians. A certified accountant, Melendez found work in factories as a mechanic when he first arrived in New York. He began to study English, and became an accountant for the Malabe Shipping Company in Brooklyn, where he spent five years. In 1989 he was working as a manager for a large company that imports footwear from Spain.
In the interview, Homero Melendez gives a detailed account of the Comite Civico Ecuatoriano's history, fundraising activities, social events, and their efforts on behalf of the sick and needy in his home country. He describes the founding of the Ecuadorian Parade in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, which has a large Ecuadorian community. He names several Ecuadorian-owned businesses in his home turf of the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. In closing, Melendez relates some of his personal history; including career moves and learning English. Interview in Spanish conducted by Marcelo Herman.
Brooklyn Historical Society initiated the Hispanic Communities Documentation Project in 1988. Over fifty interviews were conducted to document the experiences of Brooklyn residents who arrived from Puerto Rico, Panama, Ecuador, and several other Central and South American nations in the latter half of the twentieth century. This collection includes recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted between 1988 and 1989. The oral histories often contain descriptions of immigration, living arrangements, neighborhood demographics, discrimination, employment, community development, and political leadership. Also included are photographs and printed ephemera.
CitationMelendez, Homero, Oral history interview conducted by Marcelo Herman, March 10, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.30; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Comite Civico Ecuatoriano
- Melendez, Homero
- Community organizing
- Ecuadorian Americans
- Emigration and immigration
- Hispanic Americans
- Puerto Ricans
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- New Jersey
- Queens (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories