This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted with Juan Basilio Sánchez at the Basilica in Hudson, New York, on June 5, 2012. Juan Basilio was born in Nicaragua, in an agricultural region. He is a single mother child without siblings. During his interview, Juan Basilio talked about his adolescence and young adulthood that was marked by the strong female presence of his mother and his grandmother in his life. He described his involvement in community projectos in his native Nicaragua, mainly with children. He also talks about the civil war that lasted 10 years in Nicaragua. During the interview came up his romantic relationship with an American woman native from Hudson, after of which he decided to migrate to the United States with his then baby boy. He talks about the difficult adaptation processs he went through in Hudson, especially without knowing to speak English. He explains his decision of staying in the United States in order to give his 11-years-old son a better future. He describes his involvement in activism supporting the Latino community in the Hudson Valley and his weekly radio show that he hosts at the local radio station where he addresses issues regarding the Latino inmigrant community.
Born and raised in Panama City, Panama. I spent two years of college in Trieste, Italy, where I developed a love for the European culture. My background is mainly journalism and I have also published several short stories in literature magazines. I worked for over five years in the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa. Since 2007 I work in the Panama Canal Authority as part of the department in charge of documenting the Canal Expansion. I have been involved in oral history for the last three years when we started audio and video recording the testimonies of the workers of the Expansion.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”