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Marta Burrell interview, 2021-08-29

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc036_03.wav

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

D.C. Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. DCOHC is a project of DC Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, and indexes produced by DCOHC grantees.


  • Creation: 2021-08-29


Biographical / Historical

Burrell was born in Villa Rica, Paraguay. She immigrated to the US in July 1987 on a student visa. She came as a young girl to study English and lived at first in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She would ride the bus and metro to attend the Sanz School in Washington, D.C. Her first job was working as a picture framer. She made new friends, including American friends, and attended the DC Latino Festivals. She met Walter Burrell at a party held by one of the countries trying to raise funds for their float. She went on to study early childhood education, married Walter Burrell, and had 4 children. She started her own day care center for toddlers and small children and now lives in Burke, Virginia.


From the Collection: 855 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Audio of interview with Marta Burrell. Ms. Burrell discusses immigrating from Paraguay and adjusting to a new culture and way of life. She first attended the DC Latino Festival the last time it was held in Adams Morgan in 1988. Then she met Walter Burrell who was actively involved in the 1989-1990 Festivals. Burrell was excited to see the Festival move to the Mall. She recalls meeting the mayor, and was amazed at seeing the wide variety of representations from all the Latin American and Central American countries. In the years after 1990, she was busy raising her children, but she believes that it is important to expose her children to other cultures and to learn about countries beyond one's own background. She reflects on the positive reaction of her American friends at exposure to new cultures and traditions they felt when attending the DC Latino Festival on the Mall.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001