Interview of María Aguilar
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. was Born in Guatemala and now lives in San Francisco, California. She is involved with the CA Domestic Worker’s Alliance.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. was Born in Guatemala and now lives in San Francisco, California. She is involved with the CA Domestic Worker’s Alliance.
- Aguilar, Maria
- Persons Present:
- Aguilar and Encinas
- Place Conducted:
- This interview was conducted by telephone.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- This interview was conducted by Abraham Encinas, a graduate student researcher, for the Center for the Study of Women, and PhD student in English, UCLA. Abraham’s dissertation focuses on novels of dictatorship in 20th century Latinx and Asian American literature.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator. The transcript is a copyedited transcription of the recording. It was first auto-transcribed by the speech transcription software Sonix, then reviewed by staff and students on the project in three phases of review, using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the principal investigator for the project. The interviewee did not review the transcript, and therefore some proper names remain unverified.
- 1 hr
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Biographical details—childhood in Coatepeque, Guatemala, and family life—moving to San Francisco and beginning work in domestic cleaning services—motivations for doing interview— symptoms and illness that result from exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals—training received about health and safety—changes made in own home and in workplace—has not received medical attention but identifies symptoms as asthma—how symptoms have affected her in the workplace and in family life—problems to access medical attention with limited economic resources and without health insurance—details about Collective of Women [Colectiva de Mujeres] she is part of and how she joined them—how her activism has shaped her health—stories from other members that motivate her—how she has been affected by coronavirus— connections between class, race, ethnicity, and health—steps people ought to take to change society and decrease the use of toxic products—desire for people to understand and support one another