#8: Cynthia García Tamargo

“I’ve raised my children to be very proud of who they are and where they came from. My philosophy is that you don’t know where you’re going unless you know from where you’ve come. So I’ve taught them, they had to listen to all the stories of my mother. We went to Spain they went into their great grandparents houses they got to meet uncles and aunts, they saw where their family is from. So for them it has been very important. Unfortunately that’s not the case with the vast majority of the families here in Tampa. They haven’t done that for their children. And because the Centro Español and the Centro Asturiano are pretty much non-existent anymore, due to my generation unfortunately, most people don’t know their history. I meet a lot of people that tell me, ‘You’re so lucky because you know all that about your family. I don’t know anything.’ Plus the fact that there were many people that didn’t speak about their families – they never went back. Spain was a very different time, and people were sending their children over at 10, 12, 13 years old, because things were so bad there. So for many of them it wasn’t good memories. Cuando fui a casa de mi abuela, con mi tia y caminando con mi tía le digo, ‘Ay tia estoy tan contenta de estar aqui donde ustedes caminaban y jugaban y se reían.’ Y mi tía me dijo, ‘Hija, nosotros no jugabamos. Nosotros trabajabamos.’ So things were really really bad, and they don’t have good memories. My uncle – I want him to go back with me and he has no desire to go back. They have bad memories. Things were rough.”

(West Tampa, Florida. April 15, 2013)