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Interview with Maria J. Bosquez

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Maria J. Bosquez was born Maria de Jesus Gutierrez in Saqualco de Torres, Jalisco, Mexico, on May 30, 1906. She remembers the Mexican Revolution's effects on her home town. She took training and became a teacher. At age 21 she married Concepcion Bosquez of Villita de Encarnacion, San Juan de Los Lagos, Mexico. On Feb. 5, 1928, they entered the United States at Laredo, Texas. They arrived in Minneapolis on Feb. 11 or Feb. 12. Mr. Bosquez had been employed by the Milwaukee Railroad. Both she and her husband immediately became involved in the activities of the Mexican-American community in St. Paul, although they lived in Minneapolis. Her family of eight was born and raised in Minneapolis. She was employed by Woolworth's for 15 years. She retired in 1968. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Early life in Mexico - the St. Paul Mexican-American community, including its families, activities, leaders and organizations - problems of adjusting to life in the United States - her husband's activities at work and in the Mexican-American community - her family in Minneapolis and Mexico - the Mexican Revolution - the Christeros War in Mexico - her philosophy for living. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The interview is in Spanish, transcribed into English. Bosquez was very involved in Mexican Independence Day programs and remembers many names.

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TRANSCRIPT OF AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW WITH MARIA J. BOSQUEZ July 8, 1975 INTERVIEWER: VICTOR F. BARELA
/

This interview was conducted as part of a series on the Mexican American in Minnesota. Mrs. Bosquez was born Marfa. de Jesus Gutierrez, in Saqualco de Torres, Jalisco, M~xico, on May 30, 1906. Her youth was spent in Saqualco. She took training in Saqualco and
/

in Guadalajara and became a teacher.

She married Concepcion Bosquez at the age of 21, She arrived with her husband on

/

and entered the United States on February 5, 1928. February 11th or 12th, 1928. in Minneapolis.

Her family of eight, six girls and two boys, were born

She was employed by Woolworth's for fifteen years and was forced to She and her husband presently live

retire in 1968 because of her husband's illness. in Minneapolis.

Mrs. B6squez remembers her childhood and the Mexican Revolution quite well, as well as the Cristeros War in Mexico. She speaks of her firstimpressions of her new life

in Minnesota and of her immediate involvement in the activities of the Mexican American Community in St. Paul. She discusses her husband's involvement in the activities and She recalls many names, activities, and She shares her imp·'ressions

problems of the Mexican Migrant in Minnesota.

leaders of the early Mexican American Community in St. Paul.

of life here in Minnesota and reveals some of her personal philosophy for living. This is an English translation of the tape-recorded interview in Spanish. original cassette recording 1.8 available in the Audio-Visual Library of the Minnesota Historical Society. The

INTERVIEW WITH MRS. CONCEPCION BOSQUEZ JULY 8, 1975 INTERVIEWER: VICTOR BARELA

Barela:

This interview is with Mrs. Concepcion Bosquez, she lives at 3015 E. 45th St. Minneapolis, Minnesota, today is July 8, 1975. you are permitting us to do this interview. I appreciate very much that

,-

We will start by asking you for

your maiden name as well as your married name. B6squez: Barela: B6squez: Barela: Bosquez: Barela: BO'squez: Barela: Bosquez:
/

Maria de Jesus Gutierrez before I was married, now it is Maria J. Basquez. Who did you marry? Concepcion Bosquez. Where were you born? In Saqualco de Torres, Ja1isco, Mexico. How long did you live in Mexico? twenty-one years. I got married and I came to live in Minneapolis. In 1906, the 30th of May.

Did you study in Mexico, then? Yes, I studied in Mexico and I was a teacher there. I got married. I was a teacher until

Barela:
/' Bosquez:

Where did you study? In Saqua1co and in Guada1ajare. married. I was a teacher for four years, until I got

I taught in an elementary school.

Barela: Bosquez: '" Barela: Bosquez:
,-

Where was your husband born? My husband was born in Vi11ita de Encarnacion, San Juan de Los Lagos. Do you remember the year? In 1887, the 1st of January. a neighboring town to ours. When he was five years old he went to San Marcos, This is where I met him.

Barela: B6squez:

Where were you married? In Saqua1co. My home town. We had an elegant wedding. We came to the

-2Bosquez: Untied States to Minneapolis and since then I have lived here. back to see my parents every three or four years. She is 95 years old. Barela: Bosquez: What is your monther's name? Her name is Refugia
01iv~r.

I have gone

My mother is still living.

She lives in Saqua1co, near Guada1jara.

My

father died in 1944, in Minneapolis, and he is buried here. Barela: Bosquez: Barela: Bosquez: Barela: Bosquez:
,;'

When you came to Minneapolis, how did you come? When we came to Minneapolis we came by train. Where did you cross the border? Through Laredo, Texas. At that time did you need a passport? Oh yes, I have my passport. ment. I still have it because it is an important docu-

,

Barela: Bosquez:

Do you remember the year you crossed the border? Before my husband and I got married he went to California. It was in 1912

and he worked at the Round House and in a rock quarry and then went back to Mexico. Barela: Bosquez:
,;

We got married and came back here.
D~you

So you came here by train.

come directly to Minneapolis? He worked for the

Directly to Minneapolis because he had his job here.

Milwaukee Railroad, so he had passes for using the train. Barela: Bosquez: So when did you come to ·Minneapo1is? In 1928, in February, the 11th or 12th, because we crossed the border the 5th, the National Day of Mexico. Barela: Bosquez: I remember it well.

,

What are some of the things you recall from your youth? I enjoyed being young. As a teacher, I belonged to the church societies. I helped them raise My sister was buried

,

I would help them in raising funds for the church.

money for a new cemetary and to remodel the old church.

-3Bosquez: in the cemetary. something. I can't. It makes me happy to know that in my youth I contributed

Now here in Minneapolis, when I was younger, now I am older and We helped with the festivities during the 16th of September. We

helped to put on programs to help "La Raza" and also to build our new church in St. Paul. Barela: Bosquez: So when you came to St. Paul, did you live there? No, we lived in Minneapolis, but we knew a lot of families from there. When

my husband was younger he helped the Chicago Consul to take a census to see how many Mexicans there were here in St. Paul because they did not have a consul in St. Paul. And that's how we met Father Dicks, Mr. Rangel, Mr. DeLeon

and many families, and became involved in taking part in the festivities. Barela: Bosquez: After settling here, did you get involved right .a'way? Yes, because the people knew that I had been a teacher. and Mr. deLe on invited us to take part in the programs. Barela: Do you remember who were some of the first families that lived in St. Paul and Minneapolis? Bosquez: Mrs. Chavez, Mr. & Mrs. Rangel, Mr. deLeon, Mrs. Fe1icitas, and a Miss Garcia who ran for queen, she still lives in Minneapolis but I don't know her address. One of my daughters competed for queen with Miss Esperanza Garcia for the 16th of September festivities. Barela: Bosquez: What year was this? I don't remember the year. don't recall the year. I still have the pictures of my daughter. I My daughter was queen. The Father, Mr. Rangel

,

I came in 1928 and my daughter must have been about There were other families that

18 years old, so it must have been in 1945. lived in the north, but the man died. that used to help us so much. Barela:

I don't remember the name of the lady

After you came, your husband helped the Consul and this is how you met all the people?

-4Bosquez:

.-

No, the young man that was Consul was a young boy then. the Chicago Consul because we did not have one. know the "West Side".

My husband helped

And this is how we got to

Barela: Bosquez:

What was it like during that time?

Where there a lot of Mexicans?

When I came it was winter time and the first mountains in Iowa were covered with snow. I thought I was going to be very sad here because the trees were

bare, there were no leaves on them, and there was no grass on the ground. I thought it was going to be very ugly here. coat and it was very cold. I was wearing a very light

The first days I spent being sad, but when spring

arrived my husband wanted to start a garden, we did, and in the summer I changed my mind because it was so beautiful. flowers. We had a garden. I liked the t .. rees and the

On the 24th of September, that first year here

when it snowed very early in the day, I was frightened because it was the first time I had ever seen snow. and all the flowers. I had. done that. I ran and I cut everything in the garden

When my husband came home from work he asked me why

I told him that it had snowed and that everything would get He explained that it had only snowed a little and I didn't know. We lost everything in I would wait for the

ruined, so I cut them all.

that it was still going to be nice. the garden.

During the winter time I was very lonely.

mailman to c@me and anxiously awaited letters from my mother and sisters. It was a little lonely at first, but later I began to like it. ways liked it because I have lived here all this time. the biggest and greatest nation in the world. same time I long for my country, too. in my country. Barela: Bosquez: Do you still visit your family? Yes, my brother died and one of my sisters died about two years ago. I have al-

Now I think this is At the

This is what I think.

But I have gone to visit my relatives

-5Barela: Bosquez:
~

What was her name? The one that died was Fidela Gutierrez. My brother was Juan Gutierrez. The

ones that are living are my mother and my sister, Guadalupe Gutierrez, and my mother's name is Ref,ugia Oliver. Barela: Bosquez:
;

Does your husband have any family in Mexico? My husband has a sister in California. Her name is Refugia Bosquez. He

alsa has some nieces and other relatives in San Marcos where he grew up. Barela
!

Does he come from a large family? He had two sisters. California. them. That is all. One died and the other one lives in I did not get to know

Bosquez:

His parents died before we were married.

Barela: Bosquez:
;

Were you then obligated to come because you got married? Well, we came because he had his job here. come back he would lose his job. We thought that if we did not

Barela: Bosquez:
;

Did you ever work? I had my family and I did not start to work until they were all grown up. had eight children and one step-son. Two daughters and six sons. I

Barela: Bosquez:
I

What are your sons/and daughters'names? My step-son's name is Salome Bosquez. now Bromer, because she is married. Nurse Service. My daughter's is Guadalupe Bosquez, She is the supervisor for the Visiting

My other daughter's name is Refugia Bosquez, now her married She is a teacher in a Junior High. My sons are: the

name is Zachariason.

oldest is Toribio Bosquez; then Antonio; he is an electrician, Andres; Pablo; are contractors for Dry-Wall Company, Juan; he works for the Labor Union, Roberto, works for Dry-Wall Construction Company. That is all. They are all

married and some live in the city and others in the suburbs. Barela: Even with such a big family, did you involve yourself with community

-6Barela: Bosquez: activities? Yes, my sons used to participate in the 16th of September celebrations. One

would recite poems or do dances like "Las Chapanecas", "E1 Jarabe Tapatio", "E1 Jarabe Michoacano", and others. Barela: I was active in other things.

What organizations were there to organize the activities for the Mexican people?

Bosquez:

The only one that I knew of was the "Anahuac Society". because I was very busy and it was more for the men.

I was not a member,· Mr. Rangel and his

wife, and the others, would let us know of what was going on and when we had to get together we would. We would get together to practice. There was a

building that the Society had for that purpose. dress. Barela: Bosquez: I believe it was the Neighborhood House.

I don't remember the adIt was close to the church.

What are some of the holidays that you celebrated? We would celebrate the 5th of May and 16th of Septemper. queen and a parade. We celebrated very beautifully. We would have a

.-

Although here you can't I think We

do it like in Mexico, because there they do it in the open fields.

we have only celebrated for two or three years in a park near the river. worked very hard for being such a small community to celebrate these days. Especially the Consul of Mexico in St. Paul. the community. Barela: Bosquez:
~

He has worked very hard for

Did you have foods and music? Oh yes, some of the people would have stands and sell enchiladas, tacos, tamales, different foods. We always had some good music. The mayor would

attend some of the festivities. and he "(-lent to our fiesta. Barela: Bosquez:
~

One time Humphrey was running for office

Did you have a food stand? No, I was too busy with the program. Between Maria Rangel, another. lady and

-7t' Bosquez:

I would have to lead the program, organize the dance, speakers, etc. kept us pretty busy so we could not take part with the food. ladies from St. Paul participated in preparing the food. A lot of

It

Barela: Bosquez:

Do you remember a Mrs. Cruz? Yes, that is the one I was telling you about. help us. Yes, Mrs. Cruz, we know each other. She is the one that used to Since we moved we have lost

track of each other and I have not visit them for a long time. Barela: Of the ladies that prepared the food, do you remember anyone that was an extraordinary cook? Bosquez:
;'
;'

Well, have you talked with Mr. Rodriguez? all this. She had the food stand.

His wife used to take part in

Barela: Bosquez:
;

So your family participated in all the festivities? My daughters that did not take part in the speeches would dance, and my children would all take part in the programs. Not only that, but when they

saw that Juan and Coca danced "Las Chapanecas" and other Mexican dances, they were invited to a 4th of July celebration in a park so they could be in the program. They were also invited on a television program and in the They would dance Mexican dances to enter-

schools that had Spanish classes. tain the Spanish classes. ried.

It was like this until they grew up and got mar-

About three years ago my oldest son made a float advertising what He arranged it with Lupe, the youngest, dressed as a Another one of his sons dressed as a "Charro", and my

he does at work. "China Poblana".

grand-daughters dressed as "China Poblana" and this is how we decorated the float. This was three years ago, but now my husband is sick, so I can't do

that anymore. Barela: Do you remember some of the problems you encounter when you first came, such as with the language?

-8

Bosquez:

"

No.

With the language, yes, because the first day or the first week I told "Well,"

my husband, "If someone comes to the door what am I going to say?" he said, "Just tell them you don't speak English." speak English, if I am going to say it in English?" jus t tell them you can't speak English."

"How can I say I don't He said, "that's O.K.,
It is

And this is wI,or I did.

very hard when one does not speak the language.

Then my two children were The first year was

born and started school they did not know any English. the hardest.

The second year they could speak a little because they used It was much harder for the first two but One

to play with the other children.

later with the older kids the younger ones would learn the language.

day I wanted to go to the store and buy some corn, but I knew no one would be around to go with m,e by the time the store opened, so I told my husband and he told me how to ask for it in English. just as he had told me. I wrote it down in Spanish When

I went to the store and asked for the corn.

my husband came home he was very happy that I was able to buy it. is awful when you don't speak the language. learn English.

It really

Little by little I started to

Later I went to school for about six months to learn English.

I learned very little, and I still don't speak it well, after all this time. At least now I can make myself understood. Barela: Bosquez: Did you get to see much suffering among the families? Oh, my husband. There were many men that came from Texas to work in the Since my husband had

beet fields in Chaska and other places in the state.

been here for a while, someone from the office at the train depot downtown called him and asked him to come down because there were many men at this farm and no one knew what they wanted. found about eight Mexicans. My husband went down to the farm and

Some of the men wanted to find work there, others My husband was able

wanted to go back to Mexico and didn't have any money.

-9B6squez: to communicate what the men wanted, and they took care of them. they called on him again to go to Chaska. My husband did not mind. Later

There were many Mexican men there.

He liked helping them because he knew the language At the same time he wanted to help them. Later

and he felt sorry for them.

he liked doing this, so every Sunday he would go to the farms to help them. He had a good time helping them. Barela: Boaquez:
~

Did you accompany your husband? No, there were only men there. So only he went, if there had been women and About three years ago a man and a woman

families I would have gone with him. named Perez came. English.

They came from Jocotepec, Ja1isco and they did not speak

When the man arrived here in the winter he went and put his two My son, Juan, lives in The

daughters in school and he did not know what to say. the same neighborhood.

It is the same school my grandchildren went to.

principal of the school saw that neither the parents nor the children spoke any English. The principal of the school told my grandchildren's teacher

to tell my son Juan to come to the school. She wanted to tell him about the Mexican family. English. She felt they might need help since they didn't speak any I told hila

My son called me and told me about the Perez family.

to come and get me when he was going to see them. far from where my son lived.

They did not live very

My son Juan, his Anglo wife, the children, my When we got there both

husband and I went over to visit the Mexican family.

of the children were sliding on the ice outside with their shoes on at around 7 o'clock. prised. When I greeted the children in Spanish they were very sur-

We went into the house and the father and six daughters were sitThey did not have any furniture or beds. They

ting wrapped in a blanket.

had fourteen children in all but some of them were married. they had six girls and one boy. happy to see us.

At that time

The man introduced himself and was very

I told him that the school had informed us of their family

-10-

Bosquez:

and that we thought that they might need some help with grocery shopping or other things. I told them to be sure and call on us. My son, Juan, lived

only three blocks from their home.

Juan called the priest at the church and

told him that the family did not have any furniture and that there were many children. The priest put up a bulletin telling about the family needs If so', they were to call my son Juan. The

and asking if anyone could help.

next day people called and brought many things like shoes, overshoes, blankets, dishes and everything. People were bringing things for
~s~eek,Ey

the end of

the week they had everything.

They thanked us for what we did for them.

After visiting their son in Chicago, the older girls, 16 and 18, liked it so well that they wanted to move there. their jobs and they moved to Chicago. Last November their parents left Two months later the father came back So they are still She also wrote

and wanted his job back, but they would not give it to him. in Chicago. I recieved a Mother's Day card from the mother.

to tell me that her daughters have gotten married. could for people that were in need. Barela: Bosquez:
/

We always did what we

Regardless of who they were.

Do your sons involve themselves? No, since my children were all born here. The people from Minnesota rather,

the state of Minnesota, is one of the states that helps "La Raza" the most. I have seen it on television and in the paper. the work that they have wanted. One is
~n

My own children have gotten

electrician, the others work for

a construction company, another one in the Labor Union, the other a teacher, and the oldest a supervisor of the nurses. treated us like it does any other people. have been good to us. I can't complain, Minnesota has The people in the neighborhood

When they saw that my husband was getting old and he

could not do anything, they came and shoveled our snow and cut the lawn or whatever I needed. I have never heard of another state like this. I have

-11Bosquez:
/

not lived in any other state but my husband did with his first wife.

He

never told me of anything bad that happened to him, but I have heard that there is no other state like Minnesota for the Mexican. I feel that the

Mexican that gets an education, works hard and is good to others can lead a good life here. I have a friend that feels the same way. She worked for

a high society lady, but they treat her real well.

I think it is the state.

When the Blacks first came, when I first came, there were not too many of them. Barela: Bosquez:
,-

They have had a lot of privileges and they now have good jobs.

When you first came did you go to St. Paul often? Yes, we did because that was where most of the Mexicans were. There was a

Mexican show and a Mexican church and we would visit with the families there. We had a lot of friends there. We also visited many of our friends there.

We have visited many of "La Raza" when they were in the hospital. Barela: Bosquez:
,-

When you first came was the Mexican community very large10r small? I don't remember. census. There were 400 families. This was the year they took a

The number has increased.

Barela: Bosquez:
/

Do you remember the church? 'Yes, the first church was in a small old regular building or house. benches. person. We went because it was a Mexican church. He helped those who needed help. It had

The Father was a great

We liked going to church because Then they decided to build

this also gave us a chance to visit our friends.

a new one so we worked very hard on that project for many years. Barela: Bosquez:
,-

Outside of the patriotic feast, were there other celebrations? We had food festivals. We would have a lot of food stands, and it would be Mr. Rodriguez, the one that I was He had a restau-

held across the street from the church.

telling you about, used to participate in these festivals. rant.

-12Barela: Bosquez:
/'

Do you remember his first name? Pete Rodriguez. young. He was a real good friend of my husband's when they were

Barela: Bbsquez: Barela: Bosquez:
;-

What were the Chi,ismas' like during that time? I think we celebrated them with pinatas. We only celebrated them at church.

You say you remember a lot about Alfonso Vasquez? Yes, Alfonso Vasquez, is one of the persons who participated the most in the patriotic and church festivities. He helped "La Raza", too.

Barela: Bosquez:
/

Did the Mexican community exert some political power at that time? No. It took a long time before we did, because we did not have a lot of Some of the

educated people like Mr. Rangel, Mr. de Leon, and the Chavez'. other people did not want to become involved. Barela: Bosquez:
;-

I don't know why.

When yo.u wanted some changes, did they call on the Consul in Chicago? You mean when we wanted something done? Yes, we would have to rely on the

Consul in Chicago because we did not have a Consul until we finally got our own. This was something that was badly needed. When we wanted to go to

Mexico we had to send our visa papers two or three months before our y1anned vacation or visit to Mexico, we had to send our papers and mnclude our money, then he would sent it to us. Barela: Bosquez:
/

How much did this cost you? I think it was $2. Now with Mr. Saucedo, we wanted to go to Mexico and he He gets things done fast.

would get our papers within a week. Barela:
/' Bosquez:

Did you ever get to see any big storms or tornados? In Minneapolis no, there has never been one. ago but it wasn't too bad. There was one about eight years I No,

The insurance company paid for the damages.

know a lady whose home was damaged but her insurance paid ,for everything. we never had bad luck here in Minneapolis. God has taken care of us.

-13Barela: Bdsquez: Can you tell me something about your job? All my children were grown. I went to work downtown at Woolworth's. I was very happy there. I I liked

worked there for 15 years in the kitchen. the people.

Then my husband had an operation.

He was in the hospital for At that time I was al-

a month so I had to quit work to take care of'him. ready 62 years old so I retired. leave my job.

My foreman at work did not want me to

He wanted me to take a leave and go back, but I did not want

to do that because I felt I had to take care of my husband. Barela: Bosquez:
.-

Did your husband enjoy his job? Oh, yes. He worked at the railroad and he was President of the Union.

Later he left that job because he said it was too much to do his job and be involved with the Union. us are very old now. Barela: Bosquez: Does your family still maintain the Mexican traditions? Yes. I am completing a skirt of "China Poblana" with sequins. I have a lot In 1958 he retired. I retired in 1968. Both of

.-

of dresses that my children wore when they were young.

If my grandchildren I have

do not want them, I am thinking of donating them to the Institute.

Juan's charro suit that he wore when he was eight years old, and other things. I don't know"but some of my grandchildren might want to take dancing lessons. Barela: Bosquez:
I"

Do you still prepare Mexican foods? I have to tell you that I am very proud of all my in-laws. in-law likes beans and chile. flour tortillas. One of my sons-

My three daughters-in-law know how to make Three of them

One always has hot sauce on the table.

learned to make enchiladas, tacos and tostadas.

Yesterday one of my daughters-

in-law that lives in the suburbs came and told me that she was going to give a party and that she was only going to serve Mexican food in honor of my husband. She asked for the receipe for the enchiladas. I made the tortillas

14B6squez: for her, the tostadas, and tacos. I told her that it was going to be a lot

of work for her but she said that if I can make them she can make them too. For everyone of my in-laws bridal showers I gave them a "mo1cajete" that underneath says "Mexico". In St. Paul there is a store where they sell them. I tell them that I give them

Also, I give them a little bag of hot peppers.

this because if they are marrying my sons they are going to have to make some. After they taste the food they really like it and later they learn how to make it. There are only two that have not learned, yet. So every Christmas,

Thanksgiving, and birthday I have to make a Mexican dinner because my sons still enjoy it and my in-laws learn to make it. you see it advertised on te1evisdon. have been very good with me. from Minneapolis. Now it is in fashi'on because

I am very proud of them because they

All my daughters-in-law are Anglos and they are
I think that others

When I am sick they come to visit me.

treat you the way you treat them. Barela: Bosquez:
~

How about the language? I have a grandson who has learned Spanish in high school. very fast. He is learning

The other day I gave him a book in Spanish and I was surprised to He says that there is a group of students going to He is saving his The other two

'see how much he knows.

Mexico City in the winter and that he is going to go. money to go.

I think he is going to learn Spanish well.

little boys come over and show off all the words they know. Barela: Bosquez: Do all of your sons speak Spanish? Yes. Only one of them does not write it but all the others do. My daughter,

the one that works as a nurse, when they get any correspondence from Spain they send them to her to translate. South America. them. She translates for people that come from

Some of the other offices send things to her to translate for

The hospital received a lot of papers from Spain asking them to

15Bosquez:
/'

explain their system as to the different duties of the personnel, she translated the whole thing. Her Spanish has been an asset to her. This is good.

The other day a lady came into the hospital and she did not know my daughter's name because she uses her married name, but when she saw her she recognized her as Lupe Bosquez. She told her that she remembered her from a long time I don't remember

ago when her father was going around taking the census. the lady. Barela: B6'squez: Now my husband can't even speak anymore.

Do you still maintain contact with the Mexican people on the West Side? Well, only with my friends by phone because my husband can't walk and he is in a wheelchair. Jovita Ruiz and Felicitas Herrera are my very good friends. Not since her husband passed

I haven't called Felicitas for a long time. away.

I feel that the community was scattered because before I could go

visit one person and see many others but now they all live very far away from each other. Barela: If you had some advice to give to the youth of today, what would you tell them? Bosquez: Barela: Bosquez: "
/'

To the young people now? First to the Mexicans?

To the Mexicans or the Anglos?

Well, I would advise them to be friends and to help one another. look up to their neighboring nations. bad people.

Also to

That in all races there are good and

That we should not see one race as being better or worse than

another race, because being educated we can all live together and be brothers. Especially the nations that are neighbqrs. It is getting so hard for the This is the time that

parents, teachers, and priests to guide the children. we should try extra hard. raised my children. Barela: And for the Anglos, what would you tell them?

It is harder to raise children now than when I

-16Bosquez:

,,-

The same thing because our neighbors here are very nice to us. with us but with everyone. There is another Mexican family
tb~t

Not only lives near

here and they are also treated very nicely.

We treat them the same way they At home,

treat --us .. I have never wanted to have bad feelings toward them.

in the neighborhood, at work and in the schools, they have never treated us badly.

My oldest daughter still receives Christmas cards from a teacher that
So my family has never had to be treated differently. Even if we are another I don't remember No,

she had in first grade.

They treat us the same as if I had been born here.

race they have always treated us the same as their own.

having to go to a person to ask why my child was treated differently. it has never been the case. Barela: Bosquez:
,-

I wish it could be like this allover.

Have you led a happy life? Very happy. My husband has been good. My children the same. They have al-

ways had their jobs and schooling. the University. Barela: Bosquez:

I have a grandson who will be going to

He received a scholarship.

Do you still get homesick for Mexico? Yes. We went:- for four years in a row. We were there for a month. We went to see my mother. We were

"

very happy. every year. Barela: Bosquez:
/'

If I could go now I would still go

Do some of the other family members ,like Mexico? Yes.

My oldest daughter likes to go.
She likes it a lot.

She went three times when I went.

She

and her husband.

This year they are going to Hawaii for

their 25th Anniversary. will be going to Mexico.

And she says that next year, if God wills it, she She loves it. She dreams about Mexico. They went

to Mexico City, to the pyramids, "Bellas Artes", Ballet Folklorico, and to the bullfights and Xochilmilco. through the mountains. One time weo,'",went with -them by car. We went

It was very high but it was magnificent.

We also

-17-

" Bosquez:

went by "Lago de Chapala".

My husband lived near the lake in the town of

Jocotepec for a while and my daughter wanted to go see all the places where my husband used to fish. We went to see my mother and also to Guadalajara We came back a month later. One of my

to attend some theaters and "Chapultepec Park". She loved it.

The year before, four of my sons went with us.

sons and his wife are planning to go next year. Especially since we have relatives there. Barela: Bosquez:
".

Oh yes, we all like it.

What do you miss about Mexico the most? Everything. The country and my family and relatives. Even though you are

happy in another nation, you never forget your own country. Barela: Bosquez:
,/

Do you miss the old

Mexic~n

~

community in St. Paul?

'1

"

Yes, I felt sorry when they tore it down because all my friends were scattered and not only that but because they were forced to leave their homes. was nothing we could do. where she lives. her. There

I had a friend and up to now, I still don't know

I loved her very much but I haven't been able to locate It has been so long that I don't

I have asked around but no one knows.

even remember her last name.

They told me that she lives in the Northeast.

The only one that I have visited is Jovita Chavez. Barela: Bosquez: " Now would you like to tell me about the Revolution? Or whatever you remember?

When I was two years old ,)"mY father came to the United States to the state of Michigan. He worked for a year. When he returned I could speak and used He said, "Yes",

to remember him.

He came to the door and knocked and I peeped out. "No, you are not my father", I said.

"Good afternoon, daughter." he'said, "it is I".

"No, my father went up north".

"I went, but I am back".

"No, my father was lighter".

He was very sunburned from working outside. I ran to my mother pleading with her I could not recognize

Later he ran after me and he hugged me. not to let him hug me.

"It is your father", she said.

-18Bosquez: him. I was very young. He was there for a year and he came back to work

in Michigan.

When we were in Mexico and I was around eight years old the The only thing I remember is that on the hill of

Revolution started.

Our Lady of Guadalupe the "Carransistas" and the "Federa1istas" gathered to fight. I could hear the cannons and machine guns and the bullets would fall

on people's yards. Barela: Bosquez: What town was this? The town of Saqua1co. An uncle and an aunt lived with us, he told us to lay "Don't go to the patio",

on the floor so we would not get hit with a bullet. he said.

It lasted for about two hours and soon the "Federa1istas" went by. They were marching in files, and my mother told us to. close Some of them

They had won.

the door because she did not want them to stop at our house.

would stop at homes and beat the ladies so they would give them something to eat. The next day I went to school and they stopped at the store and took

everything they had in the stores and would throw it out in the streets. Some of the poor people would gather the things and take them home. They I

would go through the stores and mess things up just to be troublesome. remember telling my mother about the incident.

She told me that if I ever

saw the soldiers doing that to cross over to the other street because she did not want the people from the stores thinking that I took their things. There was a millionaire that lived in our town and he had an elegant home with marble floors. floor. The soldiers took their horses inside and ruined the Another time there was another

They left his home in shambles.

battle between the two sides at the train station on the outskirts or town. The people of the town also suffered a big scare over this. remember. This is all I
....-

Another time we went to visit some relatives in Zapot1an, Cuidad

Guzman now, and on a hillside between Seyu1a and Zapot1an a train derailed.

-19Bosquez: When we went by, there were many bodies and skeletons. It was horrible. That

I was very young and I remember those things as though it was a dream. is all I saw when I was Young. 1918. Barela: Bosquez: What are some cif the things your husband saw? I think it must have been around 1917 or

,

In the year that I came to Minnesota, which was when I got married at 21, there was the War of the Cristeros. Did you ever heard of it?

Barela: Bosquez:

No. This war was a sort of guerrilla war. secuted the churches. Something like that because they perThe towns were It

,

They were closed by the government.

against it and they would go to the churches and there would be shots. was awful.

President Calles, and Obregon was Vice-President, ordered that One I

all the priests that were caught saying mass would be severely punished. time there was a._priest taht was saying mass and they cut off his hands.

was on the train, as a little girl, with my mother on our way to Guadalajara and there was a man dressed in black in the front seat. seemed very weak and pale. I could see that he

I wondered why he would be out when they were

being persecuted but I guess they were only persecuted when they were caught saying mass. Later they had to hide so they would not be caught. He was Another

leaving because he had been caught saying mass and he had escaped.

time we had a neighbor that was dying and he wanted to confess before dying but they could not find a priest. one. They had all left the town. We went looking for one but could not find So the man died. It was very sad, but

what could we do at that time?

During that time the people could not get

married by the church because they had to wait until the churches were reopened again. This was in 1927 and 1928 as I recall. That was the year that

I came to Minnesota.

Later I heard that President Calles was overthrown and

-20Bosquez: that he went to California. Later things were back to normal. The priest

that was in our town, was the one that baptized me, and was a priest until I came in 1927. For the 21 years that he was there, and I don't know how

many more he had spent there, he gave the church back to the town and left the town because they could not stay. a good priest. was baptized. Queretaro. I heard that he died later. He was

Our church is San Francisco, and is the same church where I It is a church that was built during the Corregidora de It has a tall steeple and it The town is also in Some of them still

It has been standing since then.

is a very old building. the history books.

I like it because it is old.

Half the town is made up of Indians.

speak their language.

It is not half, it must be a fourth, because three You can tell when they speak

other sections are made up of the mixture. their language because of the sounds. Barela: Bosquez:

This town is very old, too.

Are you devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe? Oh, yes. I am a follower. She is one of my favorite saints. The Queen of

the Americas, that is Our Lady of Guadalupe. four years ago, maybe longer. things.

They consecrated her that about

I believe in her aparitions and all those My

I have the story that I am saving and I show it to my children.

grandchildren once asked me why I had a picture of the Virgin and I told her that she was Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God, Queen of the Americas, and that she appeared in Mexico in the Mexican colors during the slavement to free us from the Spainards. Also I explained to her about the "Cura Hidalgo" Then later Morelos followed him Iturbide was of Spanish and Mexican

and how he carried the Virgin's banner. until 1810 when the slavery was ended. blood and he became president. Barela: Thank you for the interview.