Oral Histories from Jackson Heights

“Si dicen que son hispanos, lo van a catalogar como gente de tercera”

Estella Jaramillo, former LaGuardia student, speaks on the struggles of speaking Spanish in the U.S.


“Once Again I’m  more Americanized” BUT “I wouldn’t say I’m American”

Armand is a young man of 20 who is Bangladeshi and speaks Bengali at the skill of a baby. We held a discussion about his identity and his feelings as a Bengali man born in America.


“There is no barrier with communications in Jackson Heights”- Elena / “Jackson Heights welcomes everyone” -Rosa

Listen to Rosa and Elena’s thoughts about diversity of linguistic landscape in Jackson heights. They share their opinions about what they think is the proper language in the U.S. According to Rosa the owner of this business decided to make the sign in English and Spanish because “We are in America”.


“The are people from different countries, each part has his own culture” – Ayana

Listen to Ayana, from Ecuador, who was been living in Jakson Heights since she was 12 years old. She is of the opinion that Jackson Heights is very diverse where every street has their own nationality and language.


“English doesn’t make a person rich” – Jorge

Learn about Jorge, a hard working man from Medellín, Colombia. He works next to the 7 train tstop and 83rd selling empanadas.


I see many cultures and many languages… Indian, Arabic, English, Spanish and Chinese and even Korean, this makes me feel very good” – Iman

Listen to Iman, a Jackson Height’s resident for many years who really enjoys the diversity of his neighborhood and appreciates being a part of it.