Calvache, Luis

Luis Calvache

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 Oral History Session #1
Date:
June 12, 2018
Place:
Plainfield, NJ
Interviewer:
Kevin Rosero
Transcript Production Team:
Kevin Rosero
Carolina Montes
Yazmin Gomez
Luis Calvache
Lilia Fernández
Recommended Citation:
Calvache, Luis. Oral History Interview, June 12, 2018, by Kevin Rosero, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
 
Permission to quote from this transcript must be obtained from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Description:

Luis Calvache nació en Quito, Ecuador en 1944. Luis, su hermano y hermana fueron criados en Quito por su padre viudo, Eloy Calvache Pérez. Su padre fue comerciante; vendía ropa en los pueblos de las provincias de Ambato. Luis perdió su madre a la edad de 7. Cuando Luis tenía 14 años, él empezó a mudarse solo; de Guayaquil a Ambato y de vuelta a Quito. Durante este tiempo tuvo que buscar trabajo para mantenerse. Esto incluía vender periódicos, lustrando zapatos, etc. A los 18 años, Luis ingreso al ejército como todos los hombres de 18 años en su país. Sus memorias favoritas de su niñez eran la comida típica, la música, el baile y el fútbol. Luis completó su educación básica y continuó sus estudios por 3 años adicionales; de aquí sacó su licencia para manejar carros, taxis, y camiones en Ecuador, y de esta manera él se sostuvo. Durante este tiempo, Luis conoció a su esposa y se casaron. El menciona haber pasado por unas circunstancias duras y esto lo motivó a intentar emigrar a los Estados Unidos. En 1990, él llegó a Los Ángeles, luego a Nueva York, y por fin a Plainfield, NJ a la casa de un amigo. Durante su tiempo en EEUU, Luis pasó la mayoría de su tiempo trabajando en construcción. Aquí, Luis describe haber tenido dificultad con el idioma y de situaciones difíciles entre los Latinos mismos al no prestarse ayuda en el trabajo. Sin embargo, reconoce que varias personas Latinas les ayudaron a él y a su familia en sus primeros años en este país. Luis añora poder volver a Ecuador algún día, pero por ahora quiere quedarse al lado de su esposa y sus hijos.

Luis Calvache was born in Quito, Ecuador in 1944. He, his brother and sister, were raised in Quito by his widowed father, Eloy Calvache Pérez. Luis’ father was a merchant worker; he sold clothing across the towns in the province of Ambato to support his family. Luis lost his mother at the age of seven. At the age of fourteen, Luis began moving alone from Guayaquil to Ambato and back to Quito, where he had to support himself with whatever jobs he could find--selling newspapers, shining shoes, etc. He eventually had to join the Ecuadorean military at eighteen, which he mentions was a typical rite of passage for eighteen-year-old men at the time. What he remembers most from his childhood was the typical food and his favorite music, dancing, and soccer. Luis completed his basic education and then continued on for an additional 3 years; he eventually gained his license to drive cars, taxi cabs, and trucks, in Ecuador and he was able to sustain himself this way. During this time, he met his wife and married her when they were in their early twenties. He mentions that after a few rough years in his young adult life, he decided to take a chance and go to the U.S. In 1990, he arrived in Los Angeles, then to New York City, and eventually arrived in Plainfield, New Jersey at a friend’s home. The job he held the longest in the U.S. was in the construction industry. Here, Luis discusses having struggled with adapting to the language barrier and finding that Latinos were sometimes problematic in the workplace against other Latinos. However, he recognized the small groups of Latinos that did offer him and his family a hand during their first years in the country. He yearns to go back to his country someday but continues to live in the U.S. to stay by his wife and children’s side.