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Mario Lopez


Name: Mario Lopez

Date: July 27, 2018

Circumstance: Phone call. Mr. Lopez called from his home in San Antonio, Venezuela (near Caracas.) I called from Daphne, Alabama.

Age at Time of Interview: 67

Details: Thinking about my conversation with Mr. Lopez generates mixed emotions. His perspective is certainly a unique and valuable one: a Dominican who existed in the mostly-US space of the residential camps and still today lives in Venezuela. However, much of the discussion was quite scattered. While I am sympathetic to the plight of Mr. Lopez and others living in Venezuela right now, he also puts me in a difficult position at the end of our discussion, asking if I could compensate him for talking to me if we had future conversations. This would, of course, complicate my role in the process. In light of this, I have not been able to continue my discussions with Mr. Lopez.

Recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OMza3Tt08zSKlI5jwgFOKQmicyuITTQ9/view?usp=sharing

Transcript:

Trent Kannegieter (TK): Thank you for talking with me.

Mario Lopez (ML): That’s all right. It’s always a pleasure to speak with someone from the States. I always try to keep a close relationship with my American brothers. I call you my brothers because we were educated together. I have so much of the American culture that sometimes I feel like a tourist here.

Well you must already have a pretty good idea of my upbringing and the Creole camps. I’ve been speaking English as far back as I can remember. I speak both languages. If you ask me which one is my native language, it’s a hard question to answer. I teach English, that’s how I keep up with the language. I speak 9-11 hours of English a day.

People preparing for life overseas. You’ve he