The project Voces y Caras: Hispanic Communities of North Florida has grown from a series of interviews performed by students in the course SPN3351 Communication and Communities for Heritage Speakers of Spanish. These interviews focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic community of North Florida, which – as this project makes evident – is very diverse. The interviewees come from, or have connections to Spanish-speaking countries in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. They occupy different roles in our community; some are doctors, business executives, teachers, police officers, undocumented migrants, students, parents, etc. Some have been here for many years, and others came recently. Some escaped political repression and violence in their own countries, others came looking for a better future, and some came following their loved ones. They all represent a happy, vibrant, family-oriented, hard-working community whose members strive to achieve their goals and dreams. They have assimilated to American society while maintaining a strong cultural identity. This endeavor started in the spring semester of 2012, and has continued until the present time becoming an annual event.
All interviews are archived in the Special Collections of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library and can also be accessed online at https://vocesycaras.unfdhi.org. Each spring, students discuss their experience conducting the interviews at a public presentation held in the Special Collections Reading Room, and each fall an exhibition related to the project is featured in the display cases outside of Special Collections as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Project leader Constanza López is an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Her research interests include Latin American Literatures of the XX and XXI centuries, women writers, autobiography and testimonio, gender and violence, film and documentary, human rights and activism, migrations, and Hispanics in the U.S. She is author of Trauma,memoria y cuerpo: el testimonio femenino en Colombia (2012). She is currently working on a manuscript for a book titled Collective Efforts: Reterritorializing Spaces of Violence in Colombia.
Creative collaborator Michael Boyles is coordinator of graphic design for the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT). He has assisted with the design and execution of the Voces y caras website and the annual fall exhibit of the project (held in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library) since the project’s inception in 2012. His ongoing support for this project included his presentation of Voces y caras with Dr. López at the inaugural DHI Showcase in November, 2016.
Pictured here are the students in SPN3351 Communication and Communities for Speakers of Spanish who contributed to Voces y caras in Spring 2016, along with Professor López (back row, fifth from left). Photo courtesy of Michael Boyles.