Juvenal Valeriano Lastarria Interview

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After looking back at the interview, I see some themes that could probably be explored more on a follow up interview. Mr. Lastarria places a lot of importance on education. He did not succumbed to the ideas of the senderistas or corrupt officers and politicians because he was well educated. It is demonstrated during the first couple of minutes in the interview when he spoke about his mother and the importance and sacrifices she did in order for her children to get an education. My uncle became an attorney, my dad an undercover agent, and my other uncles and aunts obtained blue collar jobs. Another major theme in this interview is family. The decisions that Mr. Lastarria made were for the sake of his family. He may have taken his job to heart, which is noted during his long absence from his family, but there is also a sense of regret on his part. As he stated during the last minutes of the interview, he wished that he would’ve enjoyed his family more. Who knows, maybe if he had, the problems that are now facing my family would have gone away. My own personal view of his may have been different from what it is today. After this interview it did change a little; however, it is going to take a lot more time to mend the gap that 17 years of absence has caused. Corruption in the government is another theme that could definitely be explored further on another interview. Due to our limitations to an hour and a half, I could not fully explore the corruption within the Peruvian government. I realize that the goal of this interview was to get a narrative of the interviewee’s journey to the US, but events like corruption and distrust in the government play key role for certain individuals to come to the US.


Undergraduate final project submitted to Professor Thomas A. Castillo of the History Department, College of Arts and Humanities for a course sponsored by the Center for the New America, University of Maryland, College Park. Final project for HIST428N Immigrant Life Stories: An Oral History Practicum (spring 2014).