Maria Pombeiro Oral History Interview

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Maria Pombeiro Oral History Interview


Oral History Interview with Maria Pombeiro, November 1, 2016

Biographical Note:
Born in the Azores on the island of Faial in 1940; following the volcanic eruption of Vulcão dos Capelinhos on Faial, Maria Pombeiro immigrated with her family to the U.S. in 1958 and settled in Lowell in the Portuguese neighborhood of “Back Central”; her father obtained employment in a paper-tube factory in Lowell and Ms. Pombeiro soon found a job in a clothing factory, also in Lowell, where she worked until the 1970s; after this factory closed she obtained a job at the Raytheon Corporation’s plant in South Lowell and then Andover, Massachusetts, doing electronic assembly work; after being laid off at Raytheon she worked at a medical supply manufacturing company in Billerica, Massachusetts. In addition to her work in manufacturing, Ms. Pombeiro was married (at St. Anthony Catholic Church in “Back Central”) and raised a family in Lowell.

Scope and Contents:
Interview conducted by local historian Mehmed Ali; Ms. Pombeiro discusses the Capelinhos volcanic eruptions on her native island in 1957-58; her family’s decision to immigrate to the U.S. and settle in Lowell; her work and the working conditions in a Lowell clothing factory in the late 1950s, into the 1970s, and her subsequent work at the Raytheon Corporation plant in South Lowell. Ms. Pombeiro also discusses Lowell’s Portuguese community, businesses and shopping in the “Back Central” neighborhood, and Portuguese foods that she enjoyed in Lowell.



UMass Lowell, Center for Lowell History




Pombeiro, Maria


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Ali, Mehmed, “Maria Pombeiro Oral History Interview,” Portuguese American Digital Archives, accessed June 27, 2022,

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