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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[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 25, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.27
0:04 - Contacto con Sister Peggy, razones para mudarse a Brooklyn, empleo - Getting in contact with Sister Peggy, reasons for moving to Brooklyn, employment
4:20 - Vida y empleo en Managua, represión gubernamental - Life and employment in Managua, government repression
7:56 - Primeras experiencias en NY, problemas encontrando empleo, vivir en la calle - First experiences in NY, struggles finding employment, homelessness
14:47 - Mudanza de Queens a Brooklyn, inmigración ilegal a EE.UU. - Moving from Queens to Brooklyn, children's illegal immigration to the US
19:54 - Inmigración ilegal a EE.UU., relaciones con otros nicaraguenses en Brooklyn - Illegally immigrating to US, relations with other Nicaraguans in Brooklyn
25:33 - Condiciones en Nicaragua, ayuda a familiares para salir de Nicaragua - Conditions in Nicaragua, helping family members leave Nicaragua
28:48 - Condiciones de vida en Greenpoint, Brooklyn y Elmhurst, Queens, ethnic composition - Living conditions in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Elmhurst, Queens, ethnic composition
31:03 - Negocio de limpieza de restaurantes, problemas con emplear nicaraguenses - Restaurant cleaning business, issues with employing Nicaraguans
Oral History Interview with Francisco Vega
Francisco Vega was born in Granada, Nicaragua, and later moved to the capital of Managua. He was involved there with a number of businesses, including factory supplies. Under suspicion from the Sandinista government of having been in the Somoza army, he left Nicaragua in 1985, sponsored by a friend who lived in Brooklyn. After staying with this friend at first, he moved to Queens where he lived for three years before moving again to the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. He resided there when the interview took place in 1989. He was able to find a job with a company that cleans restaurant equipment. He then set up a similar company of his own, where he employed many Latino/a workers.
In the interview, Francisco Vega recalls the immigration experience that makes up a major part of his life story. He speaks of his pride at the fact that, having gone through a period of great hardship, including some weeks when he lived on the street, he is now self-employed and doing well financially. He describes his attempts to bring his children from Nicaragua, and to settle his problems with the immigration authorities. He also speaks of his relatives who live in the Nicaraguan communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. 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.
CitationVega, Francisco, Oral history interview conducted by Marcelo Herman, March 25, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.27; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Vega, Francisco
- Walsh, Peggy, Sister
- Emigration and immigration
- Hispanic Americans
- International cooking
- Nicaraguan Americans
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Greenpoint (New York, N.Y.)
- Queens (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories