Estoy Aquí: Latina Women of the Lehigh Valley

The audio and video podcast stories of Latina women in this collection were produced by students in "COM 261: Narrating Lives: Telling Stories of Ourselves and Our Community" and in "ENG 260: Storytelling: Creating and Recording Oral History," taught by Professors Elizabeth Ortiz and LuAnn McCracken Fletcher at Cedar Crest College in spring 2019. The Latina women whose stories are told reflect the diverse heritage of the Latinx population in the Lehigh Valley: Puerto Rican, Dominican, Columbian, Mexican, Honduran, Venezuelan. The goal of this project was to listen to, record, and share the stories of Latina women in order to bring visibility to an often-overlooked population.

The collection consists of 9 audio and 6 video podcast stories of Latina women from Cedar Crest College and from the larger Lehigh Valley community developed from interviews recorded and produced by undergraduate students during the Spring 2019 semester. Accompanying the podcasts are transcripts, photographs of students, faculty, and interviewees taken during the semester, assignment descriptions, a podcast grading rubric, and a copy of the program distributed during the community exhibit of the podcasts held at Cedar Crest College on April 29, 2019. The stories produced attest to the difficulties of pursuing higher education as a Latina; the sense of being torn between respect for traditional cultural values for women and a desire for independence and personal achievement; the frustration of being the target of assumptions about who a Latina should be—including the assumption that she should speak Spanish—and the feeling of pride in their successes, whether those successes are personal triumph over tragedy, professional contributions to the community, or a positive influence on their own children.

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