I was extremely intrigued when I first heard about Margarita (Rita)’s work. Rita’s migration story is a semblance of the transnational migrant experience in its own unique way. During her life, Rita moved from the wealthy town of La Romana in the Dominican Republic to the impoverished town of Cotui, and finally to the United States, where she resided in two different New York City neighborhoods and finally settled in Norwich, Vermont.
Coming to the United States, Rita has left much behind—dreams, friendships, memories—but at the same time, she has developed new goals and had significant influence on the people around her. Without knowing a word of English when she arrived, Rita’s motivation has driven her to pursue higher education, become a nurse, and start Dominican Republic Projects, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of residents of Cotui in the DR.
Coming from an immigrant family and working in the social service arena myself, I am impressed with Rita’s unwavering tenacity to overcome the struggles of migration and assimilation–and strive for the simple things that bring happiness to her life.
This site compiles Rita’s life story through a combination of oral history, interview transcripts, images, and video.