The Story Archive Project

The American Benevolent Society is collecting and documenting the largest body of oral histories ever gathered from Americans and foreigners living in Mexico. Interviewees reflect on the past, imagine the future, and taken together present a collage of expatriate voices that speak about love, survival, immigration, culture, community and the challenges and joys of cross-border life. We can read and write about Mexico's international relations, but hearing a human voice filled with emotion, passing on a personal story gives history texture and depth beyond what the textbooks can offer; these stories illuminate both our universal humanity and highlight our differences.

If you would like to participate in the project by sharing your story, would like to recommend someone whose story you think should be preserved and/or would be interested in donating to the Story Archive Project to help us collect and make available more stories, please contact Shauna

John Bruton tells how his grandparents and parents moved to Mexico from the United States in the late 19th Century. “Once the sand of Mexico gets in your shoes, you can never get it out.”

Diana Anhalt describes Mexico City in the 1950s.

Barbara Franco, the ABS Executive Director, talks about the Americans that came down to Mexico in the 1950s and onwards.

Diana Anhalt asks her good friend, Carol Shapiro, who moved to Mexico to be with her husband in 1964, why she has remained in Mexico all these years after her husband's passing.

Larry Meagher on working with the American British Cowdray (ABC) hospital.

Mary Avery, who works with the US Embassy and sat on the ABS Board, talks with Ron Nicholas about the challenges of living in Mexico.

John Maxim on living in Mexico, what has been difficult, and what he has had to learn.

Kathleen Clement on “Chalk Talks” a form of entertainment her father created during the Great Depression.

Larry Meagher talks about growing up in Mexico. “My father used to tell us all the time we were privileged to live in a country like Mexico. He called it the Switzerland of the Americas.”