Oral History

CRAFTING A STORY out of an oral narrative represents a creative endeavor to represent actuality, to give a true testimony of events as they happened, while also making sense of the intricate and complex themes at play throughout them. By any means, it is prone to mistakes. Apologies in advance.

I have taken some liberties here for the sake of telling a story, perhaps adding a little too much of my poetry. But the result still is Patty’s story. Even as I have crafted most of the writing by myself, her voice and power have influenced every page, every photo.Isla Tortuga Dec 25 2012 084 I think that’s the beauty of having done this project not just on her, but with her. Together, we have shared memories of her family, pieces of her identity and her personality. We have in a sense, opened her family album, for which I am forever grateful and honored.

The following chapters can be read as phases in her transition from Cuba to the United States, outlining the several situations that have shaped this long and revealing journey. While there is more history to tell about Patty, it is historias—stories— that I have found to be the most accurate way of bringing alive her memories.