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

Diana Anhalt expresses how the move to Mexico enriched her life. “I am what I am today as a result of having come here.”

Frances Huttanus asks John Bruton, former head of the American Business Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, about the changes he has seen in the make-up of the American Community here in Mexico.

Vicky and Leonard Silvan share their love story with us. “We met in the Hotel del Prado, which came down in the 1985 earthquake. It was a gathering place for everybody.”

Phyllis Hoffman recalls living in Mexico City in 1962. “The Diana was not where it is now; it was right in front of the gates of Chapultepec. The president of the country would close off Reforma from


Barbara Franco talks about her life in Mexico during the 60s and 70s, from Embassy events to working with the Lacandón and Chamula Indians in Chiapas.

Kathleen Clement talks about Mexico in the 1960s.

John Maxim, a US journalist who worked in Mexico City for 25 years, recalls arriving Mexico for the first time in 1963.

Diana Anhalt shares how her family left New York for Mexico during the McCarthy era.

Vicky Silvan talks about working at the United States Embassy, and her community work in Mexico.

Phyllis Hoffman talks about her relationship with her brother, social and political activist Abbie Hoffman. Abbie came to Mexico to live underground for 4 years.