A couple of my cousins in Mexico are on Facebook, so we’ve been able to keep contact.: Becoming Minnesotan

Female silhouette.
  • Name - Martha Castaňon
  • Age at interview - 50
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - Second Generation American
  • Date of Interview - 02.15.2010
  • We Are Here

    Family, Latino, Ties to Homeland

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    Essential Question

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

    Cultural Preservation: How does a person weave his or her traditional culture into a new American identity?

    Background Information

    One major challenge immigrants face is the separation from family members who remain in their home countries. Long trips and telephone calls used to be the only way to keep in touch, but new technology can bring families closer together, even if they are thousands of miles apart!

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

    • Chapter 1

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    Narrator: Martha Castaňon (MC)

    Interviewer: Abner Arauza (AA)

    AA: So your dad had family in Mexico? Have you maintained contact with them?

    MC: Yes. Every year that we went to Texas, we would always go to Zacatecas for at least two weeks and spend some time down there. After Dad passed away, Mom always kept in contact. And I’m on Facebook, so a couple of my cousins from Zacatecas are also on Facebook, so we’ve been able to keep contact and, you know, show pictures and that kind of stuff, so that’s been kind of nice.

    AA: That’s interesting.

    MC: Yeah.

    AA: So technology brought you together - or kept you together.

    MC: Right.

    AA: So, before Facebook, about how often and how did you connect?

    MC: Probably about twice a year we would call each other up on the phone just to see how everybody else was doing. I’ve only got two cousins that have the technology. The rest of the family doesn’t have that at home. They’re very poor. So I just have updates from my cousin and that’s it. But otherwise, it was usually once or twice on telephone we would call and talk.

    AA: How about family in Texas?

    MC: Most of them have phones. There’s a few of them that have emails. They’re also on Facebook, so we’ve been able to connect that way. It’s kind of nice, kind of catching up with each other after all these years.

    And some of my cousins, they happen to be daughters of Ramiro Rodriguez, who was the crew leader that my mom came up with. There was one day that I found all these old pictures, and I posted them on there, and they were just… They really liked it, because there was an old picture of their grandmother, who was my grandfather’s sister, that they had never seen before. And they told me how much their dad loved Mom so much. They always saw her as a sister, and spoke really highly of Mom, thought the world of her. So it was nice to hear some of that stuff.


    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: 2192