Welcome!   |   ¡Bienvenidos!

The Rhode Island Latino History Collections is housed in Central Falls, RI. It is the first comprehensive collection of an archival collection that tells the complete story of the history of the Spanish-speaking people of Rhode Island.

Latinos today are found in urban and rural communities all over the state, contributing enormously to the cultural, social, political, and economic fabric of Rhode Island. Within the next decade, Latinos will become Rhode Island’s largest minority population, yet only a very few organizations in Rhode Island are actively collecting significant information about Latinos. 

Much of the documentation that records the rich history and culture of these diverse communities statewide are in danger of being lost. Historical information is inadequately represented in the documentation of broad areas of Latino culture, including the fine arts, popular music, and dance forms, and folk and traditional arts. Similarly, information is extremely limited to Hispanic businesses and social, political, community, and religious organizations.

Responses to issues of immigration and migration, discrimination, economic opportunity, public education, health care, law enforcement, and social services by the Latino / Latina / Latinx people have been poorly represented in historical records. Even the substantial contributions of various Latino and Latina community leaders and politicians from Rhode Island at the local, state, and even national levels are seriously lacking adequate documentation.

This collection is part of Nuestras Raíces, a community oral history project started in 1991 by Marta V. Martínez, Community Oral Historian and Executive Director of Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA).

Rhode Island's Latinos are very diverse. The information we collect includes not just stories of our Pioneers but is now expanding to include all of the diverse and growing complexities and beauty of the Latino/Latina/Latinx communities in the state.

This website and the collections are only the beginning. We leave it in the hands of the next generations of Latinx community historians to collect, maintain and continue adding to the story.

About | Sobre Este Sitio

This site is the official archive of Latino history in Rhode Island. The information you will find here is the result of what began as one single interview in 1991. It has grown into a comprehensive collection of personal stories, photos and pieces of paper documenting the history of Rhode Island’s Spanish-speaking community. Our mission is to collect, share and celebrate the diverse experiences through the voices of Latinos in Rhode Island. What you will find on this website has been generously shared by the people whose stories we tell. Nuestras Raíces encourages Latinos of all ages to record audio or video and to write down their own and other people's life stories. Use this site to share your photos or personal papers, and you can become part of the people’s history of our state. 


Este sitio es el archivo oficial de la historia de la gente latina en Rhode Island. La información que encontrará aquí es el resultado de lo que comenzó como una sola entrevista en 1991. Se ha convertido en una colección completa de historias personales, fotos y piezas de papel que documentan la historia de la comunidad hispanohablante de Rhode Island.Nuestra misión es recopilar, compartir y celebrar las diversas experiencias a través de las voces de los latinos en Rhode Island. Lo que encontrará en este sitio web ha sido compartido generosamente por las personas cuyas historias contamos.Nuestras Raíces alienta a los latinos de todas las edades a grabar audio o video, y a escribir sus propias historias y las de otras personas. Use este sitio para compartir sus fotos o documentos personales. Usted también puede formar parte de la historia de nuestra gente.