Moses Lake Oral History

Narrator: Yadira Garcia (YG)
Interviewer: Andrea Stucki (AS)
May 30, 1996
Moses Lake, Washington

Tape 1 of 1

Side A

AS: What is your ethnic heritage?

YG: Well, I was raised Hispanic and itís, all we have is just, Spanish in our uh.

AS: Youíre Hispanic, not Mexican, just Spanish?

YG: Um-hum

AS: And thatís your mother and your father?

YG: Um-hum.

AS: Relatives in Moses Lake?

YG: We have only two families here. I have an uncle and an aunt that live by Lakeview, and then I have another uncle and aunt that live right next to Knolls Vista.

[Has lived in Moses Lake all her life, is a senior in high school]

YG: When Iím not working and going to school, I play sports. I am in volleyball and in tennis.

[She is going to Europe to play volleyball for the Goodwill Ambassadors]

AS: Are you involved in Moses Lake politics at all?

YG: Well, I am a senior class officer. Iím the treasurer, and itís been lots of fun. I mean, itís lots of work, but Iíve had lots of fun and Iíve gained lots of experience.

AS: How did your family come to Moses Lake?

YG: Well, my grandparents moved up here.

AS: From where?

YG: From Mexico City. No, not Mexico City, a tiny town near Mexico City. But they came down here to farm and along with them they brought my dad, and as time went on they moved back to Mexico and my dad stayed here and he went to school.

AS: And he met your mom where?

YG: Oh, back in Mexico. He, I mean he would go down during the summers to help them out, help out his family farming down there.

AS: And what is your dadís job?

YG: Now he works at Takata?

AS: What does he do?

YG: He uh, he works with chemicals (laughing). I know that. . . I guess you could say chemical technician

AS: Do you feel that the high school has prepared you to go on in the real world?

YG: Well, classes like this, they do prepare you. . . CRT is the community resource training where you get, itís kind of like a class period where you get to go to like a certain location where they train you. . .

Thereís the, I think the community apprentice program where you do get paid, and then thereís the community resource training where itís volunteer, itís strictly volunteer. But classes like this, I think theyíre really great.

AS: How are they great? What do they do for you?

YG: Well, for my CRT time I come to the Adam East Museum and I do certain projects. For example, Iíve been working on this communications artifact documentary. Itís just where I file photos and another one is the oral history project such as this one. And um, other things Iíve been working on is just like setting up for exhibits, bringing them down. Little odds and ends. Iíve been working on the computer.

AS: What types of things have you learned about our community through some of these projects that youíve done?

YG: Well, we work for the city. So it, it, I donít know, the people here are just really, they work, I work with them just really, well, theyíre really nice people, but for example, the oral history project, I got to work with Aleta and I usually donít. Iím working either up front or back there doing different things, but I worked with Aleta and it was lots of fun. And going through these interviews and stuff, Iíve gained lots of knowledge of.

AS: What did you learn?

YG: I learned a lot about the dam. Yeah, and it was really nice listening to elder people talking about how the community was back then and how small and how they lived.

AS: You said your grandparents moved up to farm, right? Did they move up here because of the opportunities provided by the dam?

YG: Yeah. Obviously, because farming was just one of the important factors that came out of that.

AS: Do you know what they grew?

YG: I honestly donít know.

AS: How do you feel the dam affected the ethnic groups? The increase, because Iím sure the.

YG: Yeah, I think lots of Hispanics had fled up here because there were so many opportunities to farm. And same with, well actually no, see Japanese came for a different reason actually. I would say, yeah, the Hispanics mostly. I know that was an ethnic group that largely populated Moses Lake.

AS: And how did it change and kind of enhance the culture of Moses Lake?

YG: Well now, I mean, you look at the schools and the community and itís half and half. Thereís half minorities, then.

AS: Really not minorities anymore if its half.

YG: Yeah (laughing). Caucasians and half of the Hispanics and Japanese and what else do we have?

AS: We have a few African Americans.

YG: Yeah, just I donít think thatís really.

AS: A mishmash of other. How do you feel, besides just having more how is the culture affected?

YG: Well I think it, I think it brings the community more, you know, we come together more. Itís not like it is in an overpopulated white town where you walk into a restaurant and just see, your Mexican, your like, hey now, feeling kind of uncomfortable. Itís, I think everyoneís grown, like, they...

AS: Theyíre more aware?

YG: Yeah.

AS: A lot of the people that are racist, they donít know anybody who is of another culture.

YG: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Itís like they have to face the racism type issues.

AS: And do you think maybe that thereís a lot of participation by the various races in sports?

YG: Yeah, I think that affects it too, I mean. (Laughing) Yeah. I mean what, I mean what else. . .

AS: The fact that youíre coming in direct contact with other cultures in sports. . .

YG: Yeah, as we interviewed you a couple of weeks ago, we talked about the sports and stuff. You do learn to work with other people than your race. I think that makes you more aware of, you know, hey these are human beings, these are Mexicans or Blacks. You donít have, you donít categorize them, you just learn how to work with them. Itís more of a decision that you have to decide to do that, you know.

AS: As a Hispanic, do you kind of feel that your actions reflect, your kind of your race, because you know people will tend to see someone and generalize? Do you feel that what you do reflects [on your race]?

YG: Oh yeah, I want people to look at me and say, well hey this girl volunteers her time to the museum and the community. She isnít you know...

AS: Just gang-banging and haviní babies.

YG: Yeah, yeah, I mean I want people, especially little kids to look at me and say, I want to take time and help out people too. So, I think thatís like projects such as the CRT program will give kids who are minorities good opportunities to do that.

AS: What do you think of the opportunities for young people in Moses Lake? What can they do? Do you feel that thereís enough? Do you feel thereís things they could add on?

YG: I think thereís always room for improvement, but, for right now, I think, our high school for example, gives kids lots of opportunities. The high school offers lots of organizations and clubs and sports and. . . for kids to join. And itís pretty hard to pick out the ones that donít because almost everyone at our school is involved in something.

AS: Well, what about those kids that say, well Iím not a jock and Iím not a brainiac, whatís there for them?

YG: Oh, thereís lots I think. For example, Pep Club. That, I think that was fun. I wasnít part of it, but just seeing you guys work together like that, I think thatís really neat how you motivated the athletes. Another club which I think was pretty good would be FFA, thatís another, where you donít have to be a brainiac, you donít have to be an athlete. Those two are at the top of my head, so. Iím not sure about FBLA. . .

AS: What about in the community, stuff thatís available, in their free time, on the weekends?

YG: I guess thatís where weíre kind of weak. You think about it and itís kind of hard to think of something that Moses Lake offers for kids that arenít involved in sports, like math competition. They, you know, the majority of the kids that are over seventeen do have jobs. Thatís something that I think is very constructive. Theyíve got, now you think of it, thereís not much. You could always volunteer at.

AS: What do you think they could add that would help?

YG: Well maybe like a dance club, anything like that. . .

AS: Due to the recent violence problems theyíve had in Moses Lake High School, theyíre considering adopting a uniform policy. What do you think about this policy? Does it violate rights? Do you support it?

YG: Iím kind of ashamed of my answer, but I really donít think itís going to affect, well it wonít me, Iíll be gone. But for the students upcoming, from what they say, theyíre just like, ďOh no! I donít want uniforms.Ē Itís nice to dress the way you want to dress and describe your character and stuff, but, I mean for and other students they think of it as a solution, which is, I mean once you think about it, you donít have to worry about the punk rockers you know, like (laughs).

AS: Risque clothes?

YG: Yeah, or the Bud Light t-shirts, anything like that. Even gang members or.

AS: Do you know that there is a dress code that they cannot wear those things, but itís not enforced.

YG: I think, donít we receive these handbooks. . . Obviously it is a problem because they donít enforce it. Iím kind of curious to see how things are going to turn out because that is such a big jump. You look at our school and if you canít enforce small rules, what makes you think that you can jump to something that big. . .

I wish them the best of luck. . .

(Interview Ends)


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