Oral histories are intimate conversations between and among people who have generously agreed to share these recordings with BHS’s archives and researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. BHS abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
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The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. Where provided, transcripts created prior to 2008 or commissioned by a third party other than BHS, serve as a guide to the interview and are not considered verbatim. More recent transcripts commissioned by BHS are nearly verbatim copies of the recorded interview, and as such may contain the natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, and repetitions that are common in conversation. The decision for their inclusion was made because BHS gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns. Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
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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 Morton Marks
March 16, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.26
0:11 - Introducción, niñez en Nicaragua, descripción del hogar familiar - Introduction, childhood in Nicaragua, description of childhood home
4:22 - Mudanza devuelta a Nicaragua durante la revolución, intentos de salir de Managua luego del triungo sandinista - Moving back to Nicaragua during the revolution, attempting to leave Managua after Sandinista triumph
19:03 - Primeras experiencias en Brooklyn, educación, búsqueda de empleo - First experiences in Brooklyn, education, finding employment
22:05 - Condiciones económicas, recibir ayuda de la Igles de la Transfiguración y de Sister Peggy - Economic conditions, Welfare, receiving help from Transfiguration Church and Sister Peggy
32:43 - Inmigración de su madre, empleo en fábricas, salarios - Mother's immigration to the US, employment in factories, wages
36:27 - Obtener diploma de escuela superior, trabajo como asistente de maestra - Obtaining a high school diploma, teacher's aide job
46:38 - Condiciones de vivienda, grado asociado de Boricua College, aprendizaje de inglés - Housing conditions, Associate's degree from Boricua College, learning English
Oral History Interview with Ana Rosales
Born in Juigalpa, Nicaragua, Ana Rosales first came to Brooklyn in 1974 when her first husband-a military officer-was sent by the Somoza government to study at Pratt Institute. She returned to Nicaragua in 1978, on the eve of the Sandinista revolution. Her husband was in the interior fighting the guerrillas when Rosales decided to leave the country; afraid of what the revolutionaries might do to the wife of an Army officer. After many immigration and travel hurdles she arrived in Miami, where she was assisted by the Red Cross and Miami Cuban Americans. Rosales then came to the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn with her three small children and stayed with friends. By 1989 she remarried, and was living with her family in a church-owned building near the Church of the Transfiguration in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
In the interview, Ana Rosales recalls the major biographical details of her life. She remembers her youth in Nicaragua, as well as her challenging attempts to flee the country during wartime. Her path included being stuck in Managua, crossing into Honduras, returning to Managua, flying out of El Salvador, and entering the United States. Rosales recounts her family's adapting to the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. In desperate financial straits, she was given the address of the Church of the Transfiguration by a social worker. She tells of her meeting with Sister Peggy Walsh and other church people, who helped her by providing an apartment in "Los Sures'' within the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, and encouraged her to find work. Rosales speaks about working in a clothing factory, and attending Boricua College to study English. She also describes getting a position as a teacher's aide at a day care center. Interview in Spanish conducted by Morton Marks.
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.
CitationRosales, Ana, Oral history interview conducted by Morton Marks, March 16, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.26; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Church of the Transfiguration
- Rosales, Ana
- Walsh, Peggy, Sister
- Day care centers
- Emigration and immigration
- English as a second language
- Hispanic Americans
- Nicaraguan Americans
- Public welfare
- Bay Ridge (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- El Salvador
- Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories