Mexico

Alicia Cisneros


By: Voces Staff

Alicia Cisneros works as a dental assistant in Elgin, Illinois. Due to COVID her work closed for almost two months (March to late May) and they only attended to emergencies. Although the staff and herself always had enough PPE, she didn’t feel safe in her work environment. She contracted the disease and spent five days in the hospital and has since felt nervous about catching it again or transmitting the virus to others and family and friends. She lost her mother and her brother to the disease.

Fernando Jimenez


By: Voces Staff

Fernando Jimenez was born in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, and at 27 years old found himself in the United States in pursuit of the “American Dream.” Since his first day in the U.S., work has been his main priority. Jimenez currently resides with his family in Phoenix, where he is a contractor/painter. His work has not slowed down during a time of social distancing and quarantine, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new financial, social and health concerns for Jimenez and for relatives who still live in Valle de Bravo. 
 

Yajaira Rangel


By: Voces Staff

Yajaira Rangel, an elementary school teacher in Mesquite, Texas, has had to figure out how to teach her students online during the COVID-19 pandemic. She says the pandemic has impacted her financially, mentally and professionally. 
 

Emilio Nicolas Sr.


By the Voces Staff

Growing up in a northern Mexican mining town, Emilio Nicolás sat by his father's side listening to short-wave radio reports from the United States describing the advance of Allied troops across Europe during World War II.

Jesse Herrera


By the Voces Staff

Jesse Herrera grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a working-class neighborhood where many of his peers went straight from high school to jobs in the steel mills.

That wasn't the future he wanted for himself. But he didn't know anyone who had gone to college. "It was alien to me," he said. The Vietnam War was underway, but Herrera didn't want to wait to be drafted, which meant he'd go right to the Army. "The Navy appealed to my sense of adventure" and offered a chance to see the world, he said.

Olga Muñoz Rodriguez


By the Voces Staff

When the Uvalde High School walkout began in April 1970, Olga Muñoz Rodriquez was a young mother working for the telephone company. While her son was not yet in school, she knew from experience the discrimination that Mexican-American students faced, so she joined the protest.

The walkout fueled her commitment to civil rights, which would lead to her becoming a community leader, radio commentator and newspaper publisher in Uvalde, which is about 80 miles southwest of San Antonio, Texas.

Maximino Rodriguez


By Ashley Isordiam

>CSU, Fullerton

Maximino Rodriguez, who was 91 years old at the time of his interview, was unable to remember some of the details of his experiences, such as when and where he was wounded. But he clearly recalled other moments of hardship and tragedy. Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant, was drafted in 1942 at the age of 21, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was not until Rodriguez received his draft card that his father realized the significance of World War II. Rodriguez’s father wanted him to move to Mexico to avoid going into the service.

Placido Jose Lozano


By Andrew Stark, St. Bonaventure University and Alicia Machuca, Cal State Fullerton

On Dec. 7, 1941, Placido Jose Lozano was at a movie theater, enjoying a soda and 25-cent popcorn with his friends. Suddenly the film stopped, and the theater manager came out and placed a large radio on the stage.

Uriel Robles Bañuelos


By Stephanie De Luna

At around 1 a.m. on Jan. 10, 1969, gunner Uriel “Ben” Bañuelos and other soldiers were roused from their sleep at Fire Support Base Pershing, 40-50 miles northwest of Saigon.

Bañuelos and the other men were in an underground bunker. He remembered it was a hot night. Bañuelos got up and put on his helmet and his jacket. He later said they probably saved his life.

Fred Castaneda


By Ednna Solis

“For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know,” reads a flier carefully placed in a Vietnam War photo album.

The album belongs to Fred Castañeda, a Mexican citizen from Aguascalientes, Mexico, who served in the United States Army for nearly four years, and as a combat infantryman during Vietnam. Although he was 60 years old at the time of his interview, he had yet to file for American citizenship. He still traveled on a Mexican passport, even though U.S. citizenship was offered to him upon his return from Vietnam.