Educating new immigrants in the banking system.: Becoming Minnesotan

Lourdez Schwab. Minnesota Historical Society, Oral History Office files.
  • Name - Lourdez Ortega Schwab
  • Age at interview - 31
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - Second Generation American
  • Date of Interview - 05.10.2009
  • Lourdez Schwab with her two brothers, Willmar, Minnesota.

    We Are Here

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    Essential Question

    We Are Here: What does it mean to this immigrant group to be here in America?

    Contributions: How is America better off because of this group of immigrants?

    Words to look for

    Background Information

    New immigrants have a lot to learn when they arrive in the United States – not only the language and customs, but also laws, politics, and the banking system! Established members of the community often work to help new immigrants learn our systems.

    To learn more about Latino history and culture, visit our Latino Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Lourdez Schwab 3
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    Narrator: Lourdez Schwab (LS)

    Interviewer: Ruth Trevino (RT)

    RT: Let’s talk about what you do now. What do you do now as a job?

    LS: Well, I’m in banking right now. And one of the biggest things is just providing the resources and connecting people with the right resources. Cause I’m in banking and we do loans, but it’s more than that. I think it’s also educating them in the banking system. And owning a business, owning a home, it’s everything that you come to the U.S. for – to fulfill dreams and succeed. And one of the biggest things, is, like, our ancestors, my family came from Mexico. So there’s a huge distrust in the banking system. And you don’t put your money in the bank because you’re losing it. It’s like the stock market system here. So banking is similar to that. So if it drops, your money, you lose money. And if it goes up you really don’t gain money, you just get what you put in. So, that’s a lot of what I do now, too, is just educating people. People don’t just walk in and say, “I want to open an account.” People walk in and they are cashing checks, and then you slowly integrate them into how the banking system works and help them trust the banking system in the U.S. And just work with them. Before you know it they’re applying for mortgages and buying their homes. That’s another education piece too, where you work with them and educate them before they even sign a document. Even if you’re speaking in English to an Anglo person you’re educating them if they’re a first time homebuyer. But most Anglo people have their parents and grandparents who have purchased a home, they’re familiar with the entire process. But a lot of the new immigrants are buying homes for the first time in the U.S. and it’s a lot different than their countries.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  An official paper that provides proof of something, like birth or citizenship.

    Verb: To record. (documents, documenting, documented)


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2196