This Spanish dictionary was the property of my great-great-grandfather, David Rosales Richard. He was born in Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico, where he worked in the mines as a young man. As he worked in the mines, it began to take a toll on his lungs. He then immigrated to California in 1921, a place which was economically prosperous and where he found a job opportunity working in the fields. He took this job opportunity to escape the hazards of working in the mines and start a family, eventually having seven children. He planned to return to his homeland once he had saved up enough money and was able to get a better job but did not return until he was of old age. My great-great-grandfather only completed elementary school, but he always had an interest in learning and collecting books, such as this dictionary. During the time he worked in the fields, he was taught English by a volunteer teacher who taught the migrant workers. The Spanish dictionary was one book he had since he was in elementary school and took with him to the land of opportunity. It is currently in Culiacan, Sinaloa (a few cities over from his birthplace in Rosario) at my grandparents’ house along with all of his other books. Many of his books were of arithmetic, as he dreamed of becoming an accountant in the U.S. This book reminds me of the struggles of a typical migrant worker in Southern California underwent during this time, the place which is my now my home.
– Steven Maertens