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Monologue by Gloria I. Barragan

Barragan, Gloria
Hamper, Ann Marie
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Cultural Identification
Gloria Barragan talks about how she and her family came from Colombia to live in the US.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Ann Marie Hamper interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
GB (Gloria I. Barragan): Hello, um, my name is Gloria I. Barragan and I'm from Colombia, South America. I've been living in this country for the past 30 years. And, uh, what can I say about my past, uh, which I enjoy very much, was in Colombia I would say I always dream to come back it's my dream, even though I love the United States with all my heart, it's, uh, I always say God bless America, it gave us a second language, which is very important. I didn't have the chance through college it's very difficult to do it Colombia, very expensive. But still I took a few courses cosmetology, secretarial courses, but, um, I always, uh, remember the time that my mom, um, always her dream was to come to America and I never understood why, but, and then now that I'm living in America, um, I know why my grandfather was a doctor and he always told my mom that she should come to America, the promised land. And he says, my grandfather says to my mom, "When you have children try to work as hard as you can so you can bring them there. It's a beautiful place to live in with your children." Uh, so my mom worked hard she had, um, her business in Colombia was, uh, beauty salons. That's why I'm a cosmetologist, um, probably I, that's why I became a cosmetologist, hair and skin care. So in Colombia, my father became a, um, a architect. Not by going to college, by working in a company for so many years he became one of the best. So we had a very good life I would say. Always with big houses full of cousins and uncles and aunts and living wonderful life never uh we never suffer from uh hunger or anything because by pop and my mom always work hard with the beauty salons. My mom's business was to first open a beauty with a salon and the name was The Colors Pink Beauty Salons, then she kind of credited or build up a following and she sells that beauty salon and then she open another salon. Blue Beauty, then a Pink Beauty Salon, and so, and so we always have money we always live, we comfortable because of hard working. My pop and my mom they always, uh, something very interesting is that always in my house was like chemicals going on because they prepare the solutions for curling the hair by permanents and they prepare the hair sprays too and, uh, they have like a little factory there, uh, with this type of, um, all this products but always in my mom's mind was to come to America. She never told my father. They had 13 children, 13 children, three died in our life. Then, um, my mom, after we all grew up, were old enough to, to, um, think of, you know, to come to the United States, my mom start kind of a sneaking in the back of my father to start planning on coming to the United States and my father never agreed with it. My father says, "No you have nothing to do there because you have everything in Colombia." But my mom said, "No I want to because they need to learn another language. They need to go at least to a school there and finish university or do something different. Here in Colombia even though we have kind of comfortable life, still we cannot afford for them." So my mom says to my father that he choose coming to Florida just on vacation with my two older sisters. And, uh, when she came to Florida, she met this wonderful family. He was a very famous pianist ( ) he was, uh, uh, he used to go to Russia to, for concerts and things like that. And my mom took care of his son until the boy was, um, seven years old and the boy was, uh, fluently in Spanish, um, he speaks in Spanish. My mom was kind of tutor for the boy. So Mr. Pollock, and he was very thankful to my mom, he gave the money or the in order for us to come to America. He kind of put money in the bank. So he gave us the affidavit to come to this country. And one by one we start coming, but my father was always upset, very upset and told my mom I will see you coming back and beg me to help you again to, to, to come back to the family and create again and come back because I am not going to America never you will go, you'll go, but I know you'll come back and that was 30, uh, 35 years and she loves the United States. We all came and we all became citizens, but, uh, even though I love the United States, my dream is to come back to Colombia. I know we having a lot of problems there right now. It's a beautiful country, it's beautiful, it's big and we have everything there so, uh, someday, I think if, if I can with my husband maybe retire and go and live in a beautiful farm, uh, because my husband grew up in a farm and went to school in the city. But we love to go fishing and we love to go in the, take care of coffee plantations and foods and things like that and that's our dream to come back to Colombia. So that's my story and my mother, uh, lives very happily. She's 90 years old right now, she lives in Manhattan in a beautiful, you can see the whole skyline of Manhattan and she's very happy surrounded with 27 grandchildren and all very proud of her. She's, uh, thinking, uh, she has tapes which she tapes all her life and things that happen through those years, and someday we're going to get those tapes and maybe write a book, why not? And that's my story. Bye.