Historias Archives - StoryCorps

“He’s A Rainbow Baby:” A Mother’s Lessons On Grief

Marilí Rodríguez García spent several years working as a doula in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She was called to the profession after losing her first child, Adrián José, a few days after his birth, May 14, 2009.

Marilí Rodríguez García, pregnant with her first son, Adrián José, and standing with a friend in Cayey, Puerto Rico in 2009. Photo courtesy of Marilí Rodríguez García.

Several years later, her son Emil Gustavo was born.

Marilí recently came to StoryCorps to remember that time and reflect on the ways she was able to move on.

The Figueroa Rodríguez family in Carolina, Puerto Rico in 2019. Photo courtesy of Marilí Rodríguez García.

 

Top Photo: Marilí Rodríguez García at her StoryCorps interview in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 7, 2024. By Jo Corona for StoryCorps.

 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired May 10, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

“Our Car Had Landed In The Water:” A Mother And Son Remember a Frightening Accident

StoryCorps conversations aren’t scripted, and even the participants can be surprised by what comes up when they get behind the mic. 

That’s what happened when Karina Borgia-Lacroix brought her 10-year-old son, Levi, to the StoryCorps Mobile Booth in Fort Myers, Florida, and he asked about her favorite memory.

Karina Borgia-Lacroix and Levi Lacroix at JetBlue Park at Fenway South  during spring training in Fort Myers, FL, in March of 2016. Courtesy of Karina Borgia-Lacroix. 
Top Photo:  Karina Borgia-Lacroix and Levi Lacroix at their StoryCorps interview in Fort Myers, FL on March 2, 2024. By Sara Barkouli for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired April 12, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Remembering Rafael Cancel Miranda: “A True Puerto Rican, From Head To Toe”

On March 1st, 1954, Rafael Cancel Miranda, alongside three other Puerto Rican Nationalists, opened fire in the U.S. House of Representatives, calling for the island’s independence, and injuring five congressmen before being arrested.

Puerto Rican Nationalists moments after opening fire in the House of Representatives on March 1, 1954. From left to right: Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda and Andrés Figueroa Cordero. Photo courtesy of the Cancel Vázquez family.

The other three Nationalists were Lolita Lebrón, Irvin Flores Rodríguez and Andrés Figueroa Cordero. They stormed the Capitol in the hopes of bringing attention to Puerto Rico’s political status, which they believed was tantamount to an occupied colony.

Puerto Rican Nationalists (seated) with their attorneys (standing). From left to right: Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores, Lolita Lebrón, and Andrés Figueroa Cordero, soon after the March 1, 1954 attack. Photo courtesy of the Cancel Vázquez family.

No one was killed, but the three men were sentenced to more than 75 years each, while Lebrón was sentenced to 50 years. Each served 25 years before President Jimmy Carter, alleging “humane considerations” commuted their sentences in 1979.

Rafael Cancel Miranda died in 2020, and was the last surviving member of the group.

At StoryCorps, Cancel Miranda’s wife, María de los Ángeles Vázquez and their son, Rafael Cancel Vázquez reflected on his legacy.

Rafael Cancel Miranda on a 7-hour furlough from prison to attend his father’s funeral in Puerto Rico, in August 1977. Photo courtesy of the Cancel Vázquez family.

 

Top Photo: María de los Ángeles Vázquez and Rafael Cancel Vázquez at their StoryCorps interview in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 3, 2024. By Von Diaz for StoryCorps.

 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired March 1, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Amor Eterno: Remembering Ana Guissel Palma on Día de los Muertos

Cesar Viveros in front of his altar in Philadelphia in 2022.
Photo by Neal Santos, courtesy of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

In 2016, Cesar Viveros and his wife Ana Guissel Palma set out to document Day of the Dead altars in South Philadelphia—a thriving Mexican and Central American community.  The pair went door-to-door, recording stories across their neighborhood in the hopes of creating a large community altar for people to visit and remember their loved ones. 

But two years into the project, Ana became sick, and passed away just before Day of the Dead, leaving Cesar to finish the project on his own. 

He came to StoryCorps with his niece, Kathy Lopez, to honor her.

A framed photo of Ana Guissel Palma at an altar created by Cesar Viveros. October 21, 2023 at FDR Park in Philadelphia. By Kayla Lattimore for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired October 27, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

In the Midst of a Shooting, Two Strangers Play an Important Role in Each Other’s Lives

 

In April of 2022, a gunman wearing a gas mask dropped smoke grenades on the floor of a New York City subway car and opened fire on the passengers, resulting in the injury of 29 people. As the car pulled into the next station, passengers fled, and chaos ensued.

Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo, strangers who had never met despite living two blocks from each other, were there to witness the aftermath.

What happened in the next few minutes forged a special bond between them, but also sent them down different paths in the months that followed.

Top photo: Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo at their StoryCorps interview in New York City on May 11, 2023. Courtesy of Brett Tubin.
Middle photo: Mayra Kalisch and Eric Acevedo pose at the 45th Street Station in Brooklyn, New York where they first met in 2022. Courtesy of Eric Acevedo.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired August 25th, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

 

 

“Motherhood Is Not A Solo Journey:” A Daughter Reflects On Her Childhood

Luz Kenyon grew up in Mexico City, Mexico and in the mid 1980s she took a trip to New York City to celebrate her friend’s college graduation. She had no idea she would fall in love with a Jamaican traffic agent on the corner of 42nd street, and never go home.

She came to StoryCorps with her daughter, Anna Paloma Williams, to talk about this unexpected start to their family, and how she navigated raising mixed kids in America.

Top Photo: Anna Paloma Williams and Luz Kenyon at their StoryCorps interview in Columbus, GA on October 30, 2021. By Sarah Padgett for StoryCorps.
Middle Photo: Abuela Lucha, Luz Kenyon and Anna Paloma Williams in Stone Mountain, GA, in the early 1990s. Photo courtesy of the Kenyon family.
Bottom Photo: Luz Kenyon with Anna Paloma Williams and family celebrating abuela Lucha’s 90th birthday in Mexico City in April 2022. She passed away in December 2022. Photo courtesy of the Kenyon family.

 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired Aug. 4, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Same Train, Different Tracks

When a train ride to work veers into a life or death situation, two strangers become an important part of each other’s lives.

Artwork by Lyne Lucien.

Released on July 25, 2023.

“I Thought You Knew:” A Love Story Like No Other

In the mid-90s, Chhaya Chhoum shared some high school classes with Eddie Rivera. Eddie was more interested in sports than school, but the two connected.

Eddie Rivera and Chhaya Chhoum early in their relationship after a 1996 snow storm in New York City. Courtesy of Chhaya Chhoum.

Chhaya grew up the daughter of Cambodian refugees in the Bronx, and Eddie came from a Puerto Rican family in Manhattan. Starting out as just a friend, Eddie won over Chhaya – and her extended family. Chhaya and Eddie came to StoryCorps to reminisce about how they met and some of the unexpected ways their cultural differences shaped their relationship. .  

Top Photo: Chhaya Chhoum and Eddie Rivera at their StoryCorps interview in the Bronx, NY on January 11, 2014. By Jill Glaser for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Originally aired March 3, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

With your support, StoryCorps is able to record more stories that help lift up underrepresented voices, bridge political and social divides, and preserve personal histories for the future.

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Transcending Blindness, a Marathon Runner Thanks His Daughter for Her Support

Jason Romero suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes progressive blindness. In 2015, he was forced to stop driving and quit his job, which plunged him into a deep depression. But Jason was most concerned about how it would impact his family. “The most important thing to me is to be a good dad to you and your brother and your sister, and I just didn’t know how I was going to be able to do it if I couldn’t see,” he said.

Jason Romero and his youngest daughter, Sofia Romero, in San Diego, California in August 2022. Courtesy Jason Romero.

Jason turned to running as a way to prove that he could push his body past what people thought possible. After becoming an ultramarathon runner, he had the seemingly crazy idea of being the first blind person to run across the United States. So he hit the road.

Jason Romero in his 2016 run across the United States. Courtesy Jason Romero.

In 2016, he set off on a 3,063 mile, 59 day run from Los Angeles to New York City. But while he was away, he thought about his family – especially his youngest daughter, Sofia.

Top Photo: Sofia Romero and Jason Romero in Denver, Colorado on January 4, 2023. By Esther Honig for StoryCorps.

Originally aired January 6, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition. This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

With your support, StoryCorps is able to record more stories that help lift up underrepresented voices, bridge political and social divides, and preserve personal histories for the future.

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Two Love Birds Bring The Holiday Spirit To The White House

Growing up in Piura, Peru Hugo Sánchez always noticed his classmate, Marité. But despite his best efforts she didn’t return his feelings. Hugo left Peru for the U.S. with his family at the age of 13, but returned for a summer vacation three years later.

This time, there was a spark. The two kicked up a whirlwind romance, but they were ripped apart as he returned to the states.  

Marité Espinoza Sánchez and Hugo Sánchez in 2007 in Urbana, IL. Courtesy of Marité Sánchez for StoryCorps.

In 2022 the couple had been married for 15 years and through Marité’s work as an expert crafter they were selected to volunteer as White House holiday decorators. Every holiday season, people from across the country are invited by First Lady Jill Biden to decorate the White House.

 

Marité Espinoza Sánchez and Hugo Sánchez at the White House Decorating Event in Washington, D.C. in November 2022. Courtesy of Marité Sánchez for StoryCorps.

Hugo and Marité Sánchez took a break from wreath making and tinsel spreading to record a conversation with StoryCorps.

 

Top Photo: Marité Espinoza Sánchez and Hugo Sánchez at their StoryCorps interview in Washington, D.C. on November 27, 2022. By Bella Gonzalez for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired December 23, 2022, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

With your support, StoryCorps is able to record more stories that help lift up underrepresented voices, bridge political and social divides, and preserve personal histories for the future.

Donate