Dr. Monica Perales
Smeltertown Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Mrs. Flores was born and raised in Smeltertown, her husband was a resident as well. She describes the lead poisoning problem, which Mrs. Flores believes was an attack against ASARCO. Their daughter was diagnosed with lead poisoning and had to seek medical treatment. Both family members remember there being smoke and pollution but did not see it as a risk because none of them suffered any illnesses. Mrs. Flores also describes healthy children and recalls being healthy, she is very skeptical of the lead poising cases. She also discusses the community being skeptical of poisoning. Flores discusses her daughter being healthy and a large baby and still questions her being sick. Her daughter did receive a check until she was 18. Mr. and Mrs. Flores discuss their love of Smeltertown and did not want to move, but they were being forced out by ASARCO. They would still be living there if they were not forced out. They discuss the everyday life of ASARCO and Smeltertown where Mrs. Flores would make food with her family. The Flores family was then joined by Mrs. Flores’ brothers who still worked at ASARCO. They are not being provided safety equipment, they also have better pay and a good insurance. Mrs. Flores describes how the town has changed over time but Mrs. Flores still keeps in touch with those she grew up with. She feels that Smeltertown is still alive.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Interview with Roberto Flores, Pedro Flores, and Romelia Flores by Dr. Monica Perales, 1998, "Interview no. 1662," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.