Carmen B. Salaiz Esqueda Abalos

By Kenneth Cantu

Back when Rosie the Riveter was proclaiming to women all across the U.S., “We Can Do It!” Carmen (Salaiz) Esqueda Abalos proved it.

Her husband, Mike, having enlisted in the Navy, Abalos joined the war effort by working in the Kennecott mine in Santa Rita, N.M., taking a job that once belonged to a man.

“They were doing a job over there, and so they had to have a replacement over here,” said Abalos, who at the time was only 21 years old and had a young baby named Mike Jr. “[We were] just looking forward to them coming home.”

Josephine Trujillo Aguilera

By Emily Berman

Josephine Aguilera sits and contemplates her life during the Second World War.

She explained how her experience growing up was different from her two daughters’ because she never got the chance to finish school. She had to start working after the 8th grade and never went back, while her daughters had the opportunity to finish school and go to college.

“They knew more than I did,” Aguilera said.

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