- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Levine Museum of the New South
- Latinos in Charlotte
- Magdalena Maiz-Peña oral history interview, September 12, 2002
Magdalena Maiz-Peña oral history interview, September 12, 2002
Magdalena Maiz-Peña, a Spanish professor at Davidson College, talks about her life growing up near the Mexican-Texan border. Being born in Monterrey, Mexico, Ms. Maiz-Peña lived traveling between the United States and Mexico as she had family on either side of the border. She grew up with both cultures equally dominant in her life. Her mother tongue is Spanish, but her mother who was born and grew up in Texas spoke and taught her and her brothers English. Ms. Maiz-Peña talks about how her mother brought her and her twelve brothers up celebrating festivities from both cultures. After discussing her childhood, Ms. Maiz-Peña delves into her present experiences as an immigrant living in the United States. She talks about the difficulties many immigrants experience because of the culture shock and language barriers. Having volunteered for various programs, Ms. Maiz-Peña has worked directly with immigrants in easing the cultural assimilation and aiding with the difficulties they experience. Ms. Maiz-Peña talks about her career as a Spanish professor as being very rewarding, as she tries to open up Americans to the culture and ways of Latinos so that her students can gain a better understanding and have a more accepting perspective of other cultures different from their own. In viewing specific photos provided by the interviewer, Ms. Maiz-Peña talks about what the photos mean to her, and the emotions and ideas they evoke pertaining to her own personal anecdotes. She talks about pictures that portray the Day of the Dead, Catholicism, education, and immigration, which all hold cultural significance in Latino culture.