Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Nieves B. Juanpere, Martha Sansaver, Maria Juanpere, June 8, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Sansaver's work with the Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: I thought we'd start by having you tell me a little bit about yourself before you went to Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Sansaver talks about growing up in a Christian community and being sent to the Appalachian region of Kentucky for a mission project in 1976. She talks about the effort it took to get to the camp and her first impressions when she arrived. She describes the work she did with the children at the camp and talks about the economic conditions the children lived in. She talks about the various types of work they did and her feelings regarding the amount of work expected of the volunteers and whether the project was helping the local people.

Keywords: Attitudes; Bible discussions; Bible schools; Bible studies; Catholicism; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Christian communities; Christian groups; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Funding; Helping; High schools; Isolation; Maintenance work; Making friends; Manual labor; Meeting people; Money; Poor; Questioning; Rural areas; Service trips; Summer camps

Subjects: Acculturation; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Religion.; Berea (Ky.); Camps.; Catholics; Children; Christianity.; Culture shock.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Missions.; Poverty.; Teaching.; Transportation.; Volunteers.

00:09:27 - Teaching bible school classes

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Partial Transcript: Um, were most--when you taught the Bible school, was it oriented toward Catholicism or was it pretty general?

Segment Synopsis: Sansaver talks about what she taught the children during their Bible school classes and discusses the general attitude towards Catholics in the area. She talks about not visiting any of the local families or the other camp projects during her time at the camp and briefly talks about what she did in her free time.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; Bible schools; Bible studies; Catholicism; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Church services; Control; Entertainment; Free time; Isolation; Learning; Leisure time; Patriotic; Prejudices; Recreation; Singing; Songs; Summer camps; Visiting families

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Religion; Catholic Church.; Catholics; Children.; Education.; Patriotism.; Religion; Teachers.; Teaching.

00:13:22 - First impressions of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Um, when you got there, was it what you expected in terms of say the type of people and the landscape? I mean, did you have ideas about Kentucky or about Appalachia before you went?

Segment Synopsis: Sansaver talks about her first impressions of Kentucky and explains how it differed from her expectations. She talks about being shocked by some of the things she saw in Kentucky, including how many people drank alcohol. She talks about questioning the impact of the project on the community when she left. She talks about trying to discern how donations and other funding were being spent in CAP. She and Juanpere discuss the differences between their experiences, especially in regard to food, since Sansaver was stationed at the camp where Father Beiting was located, which had more amenities. She talks about paying to volunteer at the camp. She talks about her fellow volunteers and their feelings about the program.

Keywords: Alcohol; Attitudes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Contributions; Control; Differences; Disparities; Drinking; Effects; Expectations; Experiences; Father Ralph W. Beiting; First impressions; Food; Funding; Impact; Isolation; Living conditions; Money; Payment; Questioning; Reactions; Sleeping; Summer camps; Unequal treatment; Volunteer orientation; Volunteer work

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region.; Children.; Communities.; Cooking.; Culture shock; Food habits.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Poverty.; Transportation.; Travel.; Volunteers.

00:21:55 - Nieves "Snow" Juanpere's experience at Camp Andrew Jackson

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Partial Transcript: When did you go there, Snow?

Segment Synopsis: Nieves "Snow" Juanpere talks about her experience working as a camp counselor at Camp Andrew Jackson as a part of the Christian Appalachian Project. She describes the layout of the camp and the work she did with the children.

Keywords: Activities; Arts and crafts; Assignment; Camp AJ; Camp Andrew Jackson; Campfires; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Experiences; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Free time; Girls' camps; Groups; Houses; Isolation; Lakes; Leisure time; Living quarters; Nuns; Programs; Recreation; Singing; Sister Ancilla; Songs; Staff members; Summer camps

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Camp counselors.; Children.; Singing.

00:28:24 - Living conditions of the children

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Partial Transcript: Before you went did you have any idea what it would be like?

Segment Synopsis: Juanpere talks about the living conditions that many of the children she worked with lived in. She talks about visiting some of the children's homes and describes their lifestyles and some of the issues they saw.

Keywords: Accents; Acceptance; Alcohol abuse; Bathing; Bathrooms; Communication; Distrust; Drinking; English (Language); Expectations; Friendly; Home visiting; Home visits; Houses; Housing; Jobs; Living conditions; Love; Marriage; Outhouses; Physical affection; Poor; Pregnancy; Relationships; Shoes; Welfare; Work

Subjects: Alcoholism.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions.; Camp counselors.; Children.; Culture shock; Families.; Food security.; Lifestyles.; Poverty.; Rural conditions.

00:38:18 - Feelings about their work

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Partial Transcript: So you probably had one of the, uh, nicer assignments--

Segment Synopsis: Nieves "Snow" Juanpere talks about her feelings toward her assignment and being isolated at the camp due to it being in a rural area. Nieves "Snow" Juanpere compares her experiences to those of Sansaver and Maria Juanpere who were at the camp where Father Beiting was located and the atmosphere of control due to his presence. Nieves "Snow" Juanpere talks about the services they provided for the families and describes them as proud people.

Keywords: Activities; Assignments; Assistance; Atmosphere; Bible schools; Breaks; Camp AJ; Camp Andrew Jackson; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Control; Differences; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Financial support; Free time; Friends; Helping; Impact; Isolation; Money; Monitoring; Needs; Poverty; Pride; Relationships; Services; Structure; Summer camps

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Camp counselors.; Children.; Families.; Friendship.; Lifestyles.; Rural conditions.

00:43:00 - African American children

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Partial Transcript: I noticed that in the picture there are two little Black girls.

Segment Synopsis: Sansaver and Juanpere talk about the African American children they worked with during the project. They show photographs to the interviewer of their time at camp.

Keywords: Activities; Affection; Attitudes; Bible schools; Black children; Black people; Camp AJ; Camp Andrew Jackson; Children of color; Clowns; Diversity; Integration; People of color; Treatment; Vacations

Subjects: African American children.; African Americans--Social conditions; Camp counselors.; Minorities.; Poverty.; Race relations.

00:45:53 - Feeling a sense of community

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Partial Transcript: Are you glad that you went?

Segment Synopsis: Nieves "Snow" Juanpere talks about her positive experiences working at the camp and feeling a sense of community by the time she left. Sansaver and Maria Juanpere talk about not feeling that sense of community since they mostly did manual labor during their time volunteering with the project.

Keywords: Activities; Assignments; Atmosphere; Camp AJ; Camp Andrew Jackson; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Cleaning; Community; Community life; Experiences; Free time; Friendships; Heavy labor; Inclusion; Manual labor; Purpose; Relationships; Togetherness; Work

Subjects: Camp counselors.; Chiggers (Mites); Children.; Communities.; Cooking.

00:51:05 - Feelings toward the program

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything else you want to say about camp or your time there?

Segment Synopsis: Nieves "Snow" Juanpere talks about being unsure if the program actually benefited the children and their families after the volunteers left. The interviewer, Anne Campbell Ritchie, talks about how Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) has continued over the years. They talk about the feelings of some of the other volunteers toward the program. The interviewees briefly discuss the cultural and economic conditions of the families they interacted with.

Keywords: Activities; Advancement; Benefits; Burn out; Camp AJ; Camp Andrew Jackson; Camp counselors; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Christmas wreaths; Demanding; Effects; Experiences; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Feelings; Helping; Home visiting; Impact; Job creation; Male-dominated; Mixed feelings; Motivations; Programs; Role models; Schools; Staff members; Summer camps; Women

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Childhood.; Children.; Crafts & decorating; Culture; Education.; Families.; Lifestyles; Social norms; Volunteers