Summary of Interview
Cecilia Flores Marquez was born on April 11, 1945, and she grew up in Smelter Town. Her father worked in Asarco for 44 years and her mother worked in JCPenny for 11 years. Everyone in Smelter Town lived a happy life and everyone knew everyone. Back in the day, the houses weren’t in condition like they are now. Cecilia also mentioned that her family and she went to a church named Cristo Rey Church one thing that she remembers was that almost everyone in Smelter Town went to church with their kids.
Cecilia went to an elementary and middle school there in Smelter Town, but once she got to High School she started attending El Paso Tech High School and during her free time she played baseball with a team she made up with her friends, but soon she had to quit because she got married. In the first years of her marriage, she lived in a small house in Smelter Town. The house was across from the church she used to go to when she was a kid. When she turned 24 years her and her husband bought a house in El Paso and moved out of Smelter Town.
Some of Cecilia’s relatives were buried in the Smelter Town cemetery. This cemetery was not exactly in Smelter town but people in Smelter town consider it like it was theirs. Some memories that Cecilia has of his father working at Asarco was that she used to wash his working clothes because they didn’t have uniforms in Asarco. A few years pass and they were given uniforms and that was when Cecilia remembers that all the people started getting sick. One of the persons that got sick was Cecilia’s father who later passed away from lung cancer. Cecilia thinks that Asarco caused his father’s lung cancer.
Cecilia also talked about how people in Smelter Town didn’t really leave Smelter Town; they used to stay they forever and sometimes they used to visit scenic drive or just drive around El Paso. In Smelter Town there was only a postal office, 3 bars, and maybe a grocery store, but she doesn’t remember it.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Interview with Cecilia Marquez by Alex Garcia, 2019, "Interview no. 1714," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.