This story first appeared in Texas Connect. An excerpt can be viewed below. To read the full story click here.
Since 1999, the Voces Oral History Center in the Moody College of Communication has been documenting the voices and stories of the Latino community. The project began by recording the stories of World War II veterans and the civilians who witnessed that era before moving on to create more collections centered on the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Then March 2020 rolled around. The coronavirus started dominating headlines, especially once the World Health Organization declared the virus to be a pandemic on March 11. By the end of the month, Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, the founder and director of the Voces project, decided this was a topic worth pursuing. They would call the new collection “Voces of a Pandemic.”
For the first time, they were going to document history as it was unfolding.
“Up until now, the interviews that we’ve done, it’s been people talking about the past, what their lives were like,” Rivas-Rodriguez says. “This is the first time that we are looking at how people are living, and I think it’s really incumbent on us to capture that because we want to make sure that when the history is written about the pandemic, Latinos and Latinas are included in that history.”