My Turn To Weep

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Salvadoran refugee women tell their stories of escape from El Salvador during some of the worst years of civil unrest (1979-1981) and their subsequent adaptation to refugee life in Costa Rica. These stories—called testimonios—are interwoven against the backdrop of their children's daycare center. The women's complex relationships with one another and the ambiguous nature of their interactions with the author as ethnographer are examined. The author's voice is used in the text to place the women in their historical and cultural context.

The daily lives and the testimonios of the refugees serve as an eloquent expression of the multidimensional feminism that has developed in Latin America. In contrast to mainstream feminism in the United States that focuses primarily on the power relationships between men and women, the concern of Latin American feminism is with power asymmetries in socioeconomic class, ethnicity, and religion, as well as gender. The women, whose daycare center is supported by international funding, rely on their cultural traditions to survive in the face of tragedy and oppression.

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Editorial Reviews

The author's reminiscences of working with El Salvadoran refugee women in a cooperative daycare center in Costa Rica are combined with social and historical commentary and the testimonies of eight of the women themselves to shed light on the experiences of El Salvadoran women and their sociopolitical world. While all of the women are members of the refugee community, their backgrounds range from peasant women to a middle class teacher and an upper-class liberal. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897895408
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/1998
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBIN ORMES QUIZAR is Associate Professor in the English Department at Metro State College of Denver.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Women Alone 1
1 Maria: "Three soldiers raped me ... and I was eight months pregnant." 3
2 Rita: "They invaded all the resettlement groups." 17
3 Carmen: "It is my turn to weep." 37
4 Mirabela: "We, as women, ... cannot remain with our arms crossed." 51
5 Alicia: "My entire family fell apart." 67
6 Ligia: "Exile has been a kind of school." 83
Pt. II The Women Together 93
7 Carmen: "This is the way we can collaborate for now." 95
8 Rita: "I only wanted to cry and cry." 109
9 Alicia: "So we go on alone." 117
10 Mirabela: "Robin, when will you let me talk with you again?" 131
11 Maria: "'Lady, I thought you were stupid.'" 139
12 Rina: "My husband abandoned me ... just when I needed him most." 145
13 Carolina: "Feeling much stronger because we were together ..." 153
14 Ligia: "There are limits as to what you can do." 159
15 Alicia: "For the sake of our cause ..." 167
Epilogue: "That is the way life is." 175
Works Cited 183
Index 187
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