Mari Fernandez and Albert Fernandez
Recorded January 12, 2022 Archived January 12, 2022 26:57 minutes
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DescriptionMari Teresa Fernandez (67) and her husband, Albert R. Fernandez (71), discuss memories of growing up. Albert Fernandez describes growing up in the immigrant neighborhood of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. Mari Fernandez describes migrating from Cuba at seven years old alone to Venezuela at the beginning years of the Cuban revolution then later to the U.S.A. where she reunites with her mother again in Lakeland, Florida. The couple discuss the importance of family in a child's development and Mari Fernandez's own personal experience as a psychologist who has specialized in supporting young children and their families.
Subject Log / Time Code
Mari (M) and Albert (A) begin their discussion with A describing growing up in Ybor City. M then describes having to migrate from Cuba at seven years old to Venezuela and being told at the airport by the government that her grandfather couldn't go with her.
M describes the moment when her mother asked her if she would be willing to go to Venezuela alone. She then explains that after she went to Venezuela she didn't see her mother for two and a half years until they were reunited in the Lakeland, Florida.
M describes her grandmother as a natural healer and her grandfather as a pharmacist. She mentions that her father had a different approach to life. He already lived in Venezuela with a new family and this was a challenge for her to adapt to this new family. She discusses family systems and and how this led her to psychology.
M talks about the joyful experience of reuniting with her mother at about 10 years old. She learned powerful lessons being apart from her mother and learned more about her father.
M asks A about his siblings. A responds that he has experienced jealousy from his brother but that he has forgiven his brother for the things he has done in the past. M adds in that she has 3 brothers and a half brother and that she's closest with the half brother on her mother side because they grew up together.
M tells A how she admires his sense of humor. She proceeds to explain that A's family enjoys laughter and that her family is more serious. A agrees but states that his father wasn't naturally funny. He proceeds to describe the community he grew up in and that there was always someone dropping by.
Both M and A discuss Ybor City, and the immigrant population of that community that includes those from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy.
- Mari Fernandez
- Albert Fernandez