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Soc 323 Interview

In: Social Issues

Submitted By salmz81
Words 1745
Pages 7
Salvador Meza
Soc 323
Interview/Historical Project- Spring 2016
As I began this project I noticed something that you can only really notice once you actually see it with your own eyes, a lot can happen in 75 years of living! I was blown away by all the events around the world that have taken place. What I really liked about this timeline was that it tells you the person age at the time of the events taking place, that is a cool feature because I can read something like “first human in space, at age 21” I can feel that because I’ve been 21 and myself at age 21 traveling to space was a been there done that type of thing, we have people living in space for years at a time now conducting missions when back in 1961 space was seen as something impossible but the top countries around the world rushed to get there first. The person I speak of is none other than my grandma, Marina Olivares. Or as I like to refer to her as, “Mama Estela.” Estela is 75 years young, born and raised in El Salvador. She came to the United States hoping for a better life to life the “American dream” that was so advertised in the late 1900s. Come to America, make a lot of money, and buy a big house, you know, the American dream. Before I get to her interesting travel over to the US, I talked to her about year 1969 and the impact that Neil Armstrongs landing on the moon had on her. She was age 29, living in El Salvador. She told me how amazed she was that someone out there can actually do something so magnificent. Living in El Salvador in poverty hearing about someone getting on a super shuttle, traveling thousands of miles away, into uncharted territory and landing on a planet that we see every night, she was amazed. She felt that by the U.S. being the first country to its own have someone go to the moon showed her that the U.S. was superior to other countries because they had the technological advancement to make these things happen. Coming from a small town in El Salvador even seeing a plane was amazing to her at the time, let alone hear about a shuttle to outer space. She said this was the talk of the town for some time and that even people discussed moving to the US to start over in a country with superior technology. This moves me over to my next world event topic that she faced. Unfortunately, this event was not listed on ourtimelines.com but nonetheless it is a key factor in my chosen person story which had a ripple effect on my entire family. Times were bad in El Salvador in 1979, the beginning of a civil war was imminent and massacres were becoming something of the regular. Simultaneously seeking a better life & fearing for her life she looked to escape El Salvador and move to the U.S. At age 40, in 1980 Marina decided to save up enough money to pay for an illegal transportation to the US. She hired a coyote who would take her from El Salvador through south and Central America into Mexico and ultimately into the US. She paid a coyote who her family knew well for the trip to the U.S. and this move ended up giving most of my families’ current good living situations. If she did not make this risky but well rewarding move to the U.S. then who knows where my family would currently be, maybe living in poverty in El Salvador, or maybe she would have been killed caught in the civil war as an innocent citizen. All I know is that her journey here was long, risky, scary, but rewarding. As soon as she made it into the U.S, she moved in with a family friend where a job as cleaning houses was waiting for her. The next thing on the timeline that I had to bring up took place in 1996, she was 56 when DVD video recording were finally released. Moving on from her VHS movies to the modern DVDs. It was been 20 years of her collecting VHS tapes since 1976 to 1996 and boy did she have a lot of VHS movies. I brought this topic up to her because I recall her being stubborn to move on from her VHS tapes to the DVDs. I think this is the most case with growing older. She was so used to her VHS ways of doing things, you know, the old school, press play, watch the movie, stop, rewind it all manually and have it ready for the next time you want to watch it. She talked about not wanting to change over to DVDs because she already owned all her favorite movies. Finally sometime in early 2000, my family bought her a two in one VHS/DVD player. She loved it and to this day still owns the same player. I believe she has stayed the same over the span of her life because even to this day she has remained stubborn to use better technology that I believe would make her life simpler. Another example of her not wanting to go on with change was taking forever to get a cellphone. She hated the idea of getting rid of her home phone for a cellphone. She didn’t get a cellphone until 2012 believe it or not. It’s funny because she sometimes will send me a text message and it just trips me out. I talked about some of the change my grandma was willing to adjust too, but which ones did she not adjust too? In 1990, maybe one of the biggest technological advancements happen, the internet aka the World Wide Web. To this day, my grandma has not adjusted too to the internet and I don’t think she ever will. At this point my family and I have tried to show her how to use a computer or tablets and surf the web but I she still is not interested. I asked her about the 1990s and If she remembers the world wide web launching and she said she recollects hearing about it but not really caring at the time because she couldn’t really afford a computer. She said she didn’t really know to much about the internet until the late 1990s but she didn’t even care about it and that the most time she ever payed attention to the internet was on new year’s eve 1999 when the whole Y2K was supposed to happen. She admits to being worried something would actually happen but once it all blew over, she did not really care about the internet ever again. What I can tell from how historic events changed my grandma is the advancements in the US technologically, governmentally, democratically, and morally did influence her to move here and start a new life for not only herself but the entire family. She was the pioneer for our family who made all that we have now possible. When I showed her the major events in 2015 she pointed out that she thought she would never see the Cuba and U.S. reestablish communications in her lifetime. My grandma remembers my great grandma and great-great grandma pretty well. After that her memory isn’t so well since she did not really know anyone past that timeline. I guess you can say her family tree would be made up of her mom, her dad, her great grandma, and her mom’s sister. Education is pretty much the same for everyone across the board, very minimal education and just completed basically what would be considered middle school here. Back in El Salvador I believe having your first child was always done at an early age, between the ages of 16-18. My grandma had my mom at age 18, my great grandma had my grandma at age 18, and her mom had her at age 17. So as you can see, the norm in El Salvador was to have your children at an early age since woman’s main role was to stay at home watching the kids, cooking, and cleaning. You know, that typical macho stuff. I believe that is a change in present day U.S. that my grandma might not be used too as she was surprised and disagreed with my brother leaving his baby in daycare at 6 months old since his wife continued to work after maternity leave. The one similarity they all shared was the brutal discipline. Each mother from my grandma’s great grandma would beat their children pretty bad and each mother down the line did that until my grandma to my mom and finally stopped with my mom to me because I never got beat badly. Another characteristic or lifestyle that also ended with my mom is the whole stay at home wife, my mom has worked since I was born but going up that family tree they were all stay at home moms raising kids.

Just like chapter 4 states, successful aging has to do with being physically active to avoid diseases. My grandma has remained pretty active for her age and has maintained good health other than little minor surgeries here and there for non-disease related issues. In chapter 5 in the grandparents section where it discusses their roles, I did see how the “lineage bridge” connects my grandma with me and my 2 year old nephew. I believe in my situation its more of a teaching experience because of all the knowledge they possess, they try to teach us before we make similar mistakes that they have seen or done first hand. The bridge that connects her with my nephew is more of care giving, maybe even reminiscent time of when she had her babies that age. Other than this connection I don’t see her being very comparable to the grandparents test subjects in the book. (Middle class white families) I believe Hispanic families from a lower end class grandparents probably work until they are a little older and probably either live with their children or very close by.
MOON LANDING 1969
1979 EL SALVADOR MASSACRE
HIV DETERMINED TO BE CAUSE OF AIDS 1984
WORLD WIDE WEB 1950
DVD VIDEO RECORDINGS 1996

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