|Art Crafted from Recyclables
Handwoven Textiles, Tierra Wools, Inc.
Handwoven Textiles, Jose Isabel Quiroz Garcia
Industrial Technology and Traditional Knowledge
|The following is an interview transcription from the 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival with participant Rita Morales, a labor union leader and worker in a maquiladora (maquiladoras are production plants found mainly on the U.S./Mexico border and are generally owned by U.S. companies).Translation and interview by Enrique Lamadrid, presenter and interpreter at the Festival.*|
|EL: My name is
Enrique LaMadrid and Rita Morales and I are having a
conversation about the work that shes involved in
on the Mexican side of the border and the really giant maquiladora
[factory] industry. The topic at hand is Hispanic
contributions to science and technology in the United
States. Rita is a really interesting person to talk to in
terms of this because of the tremendous size of the
industry along the border. So much of the electrical and
component parts that the United Statess whole
scientific and technological enterprise depend on are
assembled by people just like her.
Rita, Cuánto entiende del inglés?
RM: Muy poquito.
EL: Lo haremos así traduciendo. Pues digales un poco de donde es Ud. Y de como se involucró en, como primero se enteró de las maquilas? Cual fue la primera en que trabajó?
(Real Audio 51 Kb)
EL: She says shes originally from Veracruz, in Central Mexico on the Gulf Coast, of course. She left there at the age of twenty nine and came up to Brownsville in 1983 and started working as a waitress but then began working for Fisher Price, in a maquila putting together all of different kinds of toys that they make, putting together playpens....
RM: Trabajé seis anos ahí.
EL: She says she worked six years at Fisher Price.
RM: Se fue la maquilador de Matamoros. Y tuve que conseguir trabajos en Cambridge. Cambridge se inició en 93.
EL: And she says in 93 the next one she worked with is called Cambridge.
(Real Audio 48 Kb)
EL: She says that the Cambridge outfit specializes in component parts, different kinds of belts: everything from conveyor belts to little plastic belts, and little components in mechanical electronic devices of all kinds. They now include high carbon steel conveyor belts.
RM: Sí. Todavia trabajo con ellos. [I still work for them.]
* transcription edited for clarity
Sustainable Development and
Industrial Technology ]
[ Science, Technology & Invention in the Rio Grande ]
[ Impacto, Influencia, Cambio ]
[ History of Science, Technology and Invention]