Sandra Nichols

Sandra Nichols

Interviewer: Carolyn Younger
Date of Interview: 5/5/2007

Carolyn Younger: This is Carolyn Younger. I am pleased to welcome Sandra Nichols whom I’m interviewing on behalf of the St. Helena Historical Society’s Fall History Program.  [Indiscernible].  We are conducting the interview at 11:42, no, 11:45 p.m. — a.m., May 5, 2007, of the Assembly the Library.  Welcome Sandra.  Can you tell us how you came to St. Helena?

Sandra Nichols:  Well, I drove up this morning, from where I live in Oakland [indiscernible]. 

Carolyn Younger: And the reason you came?

Sandra Nichols:  Well, I came to participate in this workshop that you are conducting this place for the St. Helena Historical Society.

Carolyn Younger: Uh-huh.

Sandra Nichols:  Something that was really interesting and [indiscernible] about.

Carolyn Younger: But you’ve been here before for a different reason?

Sandra Nichols:  Yes, I, I’ve, uh, been here.  I, since, since, on a regular basis…

Carolyn Younger: Right. 

Sandra Nichols:  — for the last 10 to 12 years.  I would come here to interview the people [indiscernible] from the Mexican Community.  And in order to make and …


Carolyn Younger: How did you happen to [indiscernible]?

Sandra Nichols:  That’s really interesting.  I was — I had gone back to my graduate school [indiscernible] the Department of U.C. Berkeley.  And, and I was looking around a [indiscernible] topic.  And what I choose was — what I wanted to look at and find a Mexican, it’s a Transnational Community.

Carolyn Younger: Uh-huh.

Sandra Nichols:  Folks in a particular hometown in Mexico, but they haven’t developed a Settlement Community in the U.S.  And, initially, I was looking for some folks in — much closer to home, say in Oakland.  But the — one thing led to another and a friend contacted the Mexican Consulate.  Gave me a list of names of Community Organizations in the Bay Area.  And one of them happened to be in the Napa Valley.  And so, when I called them up, the name of this person that they gave me at the time, it was [indiscernible].

Carolyn Younger: Oh, [Indiscernible].

Sandra Nichols:  Yeah.  And I called him up and he was so friendly and so welcoming.  He said, “Sure, come on over.  We’d love to tell you about, you know, our hometown, and who we are, and so forth.”  And he said, [indiscernible], and invited over to his house.  And then I decided to

First I needed to go to Mexico to visit their hometown, to then decide if that was [indiscernible] to continue to pursue this [indiscernible].

Carolyn Younger: So what — were many members of the same community, the Hispanic Community, or Latino Community from the same region and from, generally the same town?

Sandra Nichols:  Well, what happens is, the way the migration tends to work is people are in clusters.  So, it’s not just an undifferentiated crowd that’s in Mexico.  But they are, they’re clustered in terms of hometowns, like, communities of origin.  So, there are quite a few from the [Indiscernible], Mexico.  And the estimate, nobody has really done a count.  But we estimate that there could be over a thousand people from that same village really, in Mexico who are in the Napa Valley.  And they originally started coming to [Indiscernible].

Carolyn Younger: I wanted to go back — oh, yeah.  I wanted to go back and find out about your education.