Pre-interview Framework


What is your full name?
When were you born?
Where were you born and where specifically did you live?
How long were you there? Did you ever move?



Can you tell me more about where you grew up, of home?
How big was your family?
Who did you live with? What was your house like?
Can you describe your relationship with your parents?
What were you like as a kid? What were your favorite childhood memories?
Where did you build your strongest relationships? Who were they with?


Did you go to school?
For how long?
Did you have to pay for school? Who paid for it?
Can you describe the school? How were the teachers? The students?
What type of student were you?
What type of classes did you take? How did you feel about the quality of education?


How were the jobs? How hard or easy was it to find a job?
Did you work?
At what age did you start working?
Where did you work?
What jobs did you have and what did you do?
Did anybody else work in your household? Who? [Did your mom ever work?]
Who “supported the household”?



What was the life like in the DR?
What did people do for fun?


How important was faith and religion in the community? To you and your family? What were you involved in?
What holidays did you celebrate? Were there festivals? Was there a lot of community spirit?

General Conditions

Was there any violence? Crime? How did the government deal with it?
Are there any people in the community that you remember best? Who are they?
Can you describe some of the changes that happened while you were in DR?
When did you first hear about the United States and what were your childhood impressions of it? What did other people say about it? Did you want to come to the US?
What were conditions like when you left the Dominican Republic? (political, health care, transportation/infrastructure, social conditions, economic)


At what age did you come to the United States? When did you leave?
What was your impression of the United States when you left? How did you feel about it?
Who decided you would come here? Why?
What were the factors that challenged or supported the decision at that time?
How did you prepare for your trip?
How were you able to support your trip financially?
When you left, did you have plans to return?
Who came with you when you emigrated?
Who did you leave behind? What did you leave behind?
Does anyone still live in the DR now? What do you have in the DR now? (House, etc.)
How did others treat you when they found out that you would be leaving? How did they react?
How did you get here? Did you stay somewhere else before arriving?
How was the migration process like?
What kind of challenges did you encounter on your journey here?

Life in the US

Adjusting to Life in the US

What was your first destination in the United States? How did you decide to go there?
Can you describe the conditions there (social, economic, political)?
Did you know anyone in the United States? Who and what was their relationship to you? Did you contact them when you arrived? Can you describe the interaction? Was there any other previous social networking prior to the journey?
Describe your first vivid memory of the United States. Did your impression of the US change over time? How so?
How were you or your family treated when you first arrived? Has that changed? How were you treated by peers in school?
What were some cultural differences and similarities you have found?
What were some adjustments that you had to make? (e.g. changes in lifestyle)
What language(s) did you speak when you arrived? Did you know English? If yes, did you have to learn English in school? How difficult was it?  If no, how difficult was it to learn English? What did you do? What resources did you have?
What were you and your families’ first priorities upon moving here?
Did you consider the US your home?


What were your hopes for you and your family when you came here? Your parents’?
[If not answered in first question] What were your expectations on relationships? Marriage?  Jobs and Job Conditions? (Work, Pay, etc.) Lifestyle?
Have you realized these hopes?
What are some of the greatest challenges that you have faced here? Successes?


If moved while in US: What made you decide to move later on? Where did you move to and why?
What were the living conditions like in the communities where you have lived?
Were there ethnic communities that you identified with, lived in, or frequented? Where were they? Can you describe what they were like? What stores, restaurants, locations did you go to?
Was it difficult to assimilate into those neighborhoods? What was it like as a newcomer?
How different was a community here versus the community in the DR?


How did faith play a role in your life in the United States?
What holidays did you celebrate and how did you celebrate them? Were there any festivals?
What resources were available in the community for you? Did you attend church?
Was having a spiritual community important for you when identifying a place of settlement?
How different was the spiritual community in the US vs. that in DR?


Did you pursue an education in the US? If no, why not? If yes, where did you go to school?
Up to what grade did you go to school?
What was that experience like?
How different was school here vs. in the DR?
How hard was it to adjust?
Was it easy to make friends?
How hard was it to be an [non-English-speaking] immigrant in an [English-speaking school?]
Did coming from an immigrant family change the way you perceived your education? How so?


What was your first job(s) in the US?
Why did you decide to enter the healthcare sector?
Was it difficult pursuing a career in this area as a Latino migrant?
Did coming from an immigrant family affect your career choice?


I understand that you have started a non-profit in the DR. Can you tell me more about it?
What is it called?
What prompted you to start the nonprofit? What is its mission and your vision for it?
What have you accomplished with the organization so far?
Where do you see yourself going with it?
How do you manage the organization? How often do you go back? Where do you stay? Do you see other family and friends during that time?
How has it defined your role as a migrant and your relationship to DR?

Maintaining Ties

Besides working at the non-profit, what type of connections do you maintain with your family/friends in DR? Do you ever send anything back?
Can you describe your relationship with DR? How connected do you still feel with it?
What is it like returning to DR?
How do you feel? Does the feeling about DR change compared to when you are in the US?
How do people react?
What do you do when you return?
What do you bring with you and how do you prepare for your trip?
To what extent are you aware of the political ongoings in DR?
Do you vote there? Do you vote in the US? Why or why not?
Can you compare your “political involvement” in the two countries?
Do your return trips in any way alter your memories of living there? Is it as you remember it? How has it changed or stayed the same?
Do you have any children? In the US? In DR? If in US: Have your children visited DR?
How has your immigrant status affected your goals and aspirations for your children?
Have you passed on any traditions to them?
How do you think your experiences have changed your children’s lives?

General Questions

Do you ever regret coming to the United States? Why or why not?
If you could choose again, would you have migrated to the US?
Do you like it better here in the US or in DR? Why?
Do you think you have met your expectations coming to the US?
What have you gained? What have you lost?
What do you regard as home right now?
What ethnicity do you identify with? Would you call yourself Latino-American/Dominican-American?
What do you miss most about the Dominican Republic?


Is there anything you would like to add that we did not have a chance to talk about?
Can you send me some music that you identify with and photos/videos from childhood, time of migration, and life here in US?

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