La Familia Es Lo Primero - An Oral History Interview with Violeta Rivas


In this oral history interview, Violeta Rivas discusses her experience as an immigrant in the United States. Born in Nicaragua in 1960, Violeta and her husband came to the U.S. in 1984 to escape the Sandinista regime and to build a new life. Thirty years later, they are still here. Although Violeta had originally intended to return to Nicaragua, she and her family stayed, and throughout the course of the interview, she displays an acute awareness of her life in retrospect. Leaving her home was a sacrifice, but she did it for her family; every obstacle she faced and every cultural barrier she had to overcome was for her family. That is the essence of the interview, and throughout the course of this oral history, Violeta guides her listeners through the things that matter the most to her: religion, tradition, and moral values. Violeta’s story is not just one of many Central American immigrant narratives; it is a part of a whole, and without it, the picture is not complete.


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).