Rita: An Elder of Color Essay

Rita: An Elder of Color Essay

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Many elders of color will share their stories with you if given the opportunity. Stories on how the United States changed their lives in both a positive and negative way. Stories describing their upbringing, family, traditions, culture and religious beliefs. I was lucky enough to interview Rita, an elder of color. From her stories, you are able to see how she has battled with life from all different angles.
Rita was born on June 13, 1930, in Guatica, Risaralda S.A. Colombia. She was raised by both her mother and father. Rita is the second oldest out of nine siblings. According to Rita, she had a difficult relationship with her father. Rita stated, “My father was not affectionate. He cared for us but there was not much love in the house.” Rita has had limited education. The first time she attended school was at the age of eight. She went to school and only completed six months of schooling. Rita has limited reading and writing skills. Rita grew up working in the family’s farm. She mentioned she would raise pigs and help her mother cook for the farm workers.
Rita was unhappy at home and felt she needed to “get out”. Rita stated that her father hired a 21 year old gentleman to work in the farm. Rita liked him and they fell in love. According to Rita her father did not approve of their relationship. Her father was a conservative and the young gentleman was a liberal. Rita reported that in the 1930s Colombia was undergoing political violence. There was a civil war where two political parties liberal and conservatives usually sought to limit or eliminate the rival party. Rita reported that although she did not witness much violence it was very clear that it was occurring. Rita chose to get married behind her father’s back. She ...


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...ch allows her to age in place and have access to a good health care system. Rita’s time and patience during the interview was greatly appreciated. This interview was a reminder of how immigrants struggle in order to get to where they are now and how valuable this country is too many of them. I am extremely grateful for having had this opportunity.










Works Cited

American Geriatrics Society (2004). Doorway thoughts: Cross-cultural health care for older adults. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Gelfand, D. E. (2003). Aging and ethnicity: knowledge and services (2nd ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Grudzen, M. (2008). Religion and Spirituality. The Journal of Geriatric Care Management,, 2(8), 24
Niles-Yokum, K., & Wagner, D. (2011). The Aging Networks: A Guide to Programs and Services (7th ed.). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

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