I would like to see more people involved in the political area.: Becoming Minnesotan

Mario Duarte, 2011. Minnesota Historical Society, Oral History Office files.
  • Name - Mario Duarte
  • Age at interview - 72
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 09.17.2010
  • Mario Duarte with Senator Paul Wellstone, c.2002. Minnesota Historical Society.

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opportunities in America: What kind of opportunities does this person see in America that he/she did not have in the homeland?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Immigrant and minority communities often feel voiceless in larger society, like politicians and other authorities don’t listen to their wants and needs. The solution may be for more members of that community to go into politics themselves, and work to make the changes that are necessary.

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

    • Chapter 1

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    Narrator: Mario Duarte (MD)

    Interviewer: Lorena Duarte (LD)

    MD: I would like to see more people involved in the political area. That’s maybe the next time, the next process that we have to go, because everything is handled by politicians in this country, so we need more people at that level, you know. We have almost nothing, no political people, no Latinos in the political arena.

    LD: A few, but not many.

    MD: Very few, very few compared to the numbers. The communities are growing and the community has to reflect in many ways that it is growing, not just be a number. Yeah, we are 3,000, 2,000. It doesn’t matter the number, but also that number has to be reflected in the different levels of the society. You know what I mean? Again, we need more Latino judges, more Latino lawyers, more Latino professional people. That’s something I would like to… Every time I have the opportunity to talk to young people, I say, well, “Okay. You have to finish the school. You have to go off to school and finish, and try to be the next level. Education is the key.” Who I am is based on my education and what I’ve been able to educate myself, doing this and doing that, taking this training, taking this course, going to the school, learn something different. I’m open to that scene. I open my mind to it. And again, I would like to see more young people get into the political arena. We have to start to think very strong on that scene. Business is beautiful. And entertainment is good, I mean, also. But, we need, again, more people in the political arena, more politicians, more Latinos.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  A group of people who share a common understanding of the same language, manners, tradition and law.


    Adverb:  Concerning or related to politics, the art and process of governing.


    Adjective:  Describes a specific field of work that requires above average education and a specific set of skills.

    Noun: A person who works in a job that requires a lot of skills or training.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access]. http://www.mnhs.org/immigration
    nid: 2185