CO–FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, P.A.C.O. (PUERTORRIQUEÑOS ASOCIADOS FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION, INC.)
CHAIRMAN, HUDSON COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
Eliu Rivera was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico in the 1940s and migrated to Jersey City, New Jersey with his family during his early teenage years. After graduating from high school, he spent time working for the Post Office and in the ports around New York Harbor. During the Longshoremen's strike, Mr. Rivera was introduced to a number of community activists in Jersey City, where they discussed the need for an organization devoted to serving the needs of the Latino community. After conducting a survey of Jersey City residents to identify the greatest areas of need, the organization P.A.C.O. (Puertorriqueños Asociados for Community Organization, Inc.) was founded, with its initial areas of concern being the need for affordable housing and bilingual services for the community. Since its founding in 1970, P.A.C.O. has branched out into many other community services. Mr. Rivera has served the community through P.A.C.O. since 1970 and is currently its Executive Director. He has also served the community politically as Deputy Mayor of Jersey City and Chairman of the Hudson County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Prepared by Elizabeth Parker, Associate Archivist.
Hear Eliu Rivera discuss the first apartment he and his family lived in after migrating to New Jersey:
Text of Audio Quote:
[Text edited for clarity. For a full verbatim transcript of the quote, please see p. 3 of the complete interview transcript.]
"We used to live in a cold [water] flat... And remember there was eight of us, okay. It [was] not easy. As a matter of fact, where we lived, it was like a four story apartment building... one apartment on each side[of the building]. The bathroom that you used was shared by the two families [in the two apartments], [on] the left and the right [sides of the building]. In order to take a bath you had [to use] one of those marble tubs, [which was] right there in the kitchen, okay. So, you know, it was a heck of an experience... "
For an extensive and specific list of peoples, places, organizations and topics discussed in this oral history, please see the Interview Transcript Index.
Access to full verbatim interview transcripts and audio recordings are available by appointment only. Contact an NJHRIC archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org, (973) 733–4791, or via mail, NJHRIC at The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102 with your request.
All uses of these transcriptions are covered by copyright agreement between the interview participants and the NJHRIC at The Newark Public Library. Under "fair use" standards, excerpts of up to three hundred words (per interview) may be used without the NJHRIC's permission, so long as the materials are properly cited (see citation note). Any excerpting beyond three hundred words requires written permission of the Project Archivist, appropriate citation, and may require a fee, especially if this is a commercial publication or production. Under certain circumstances non-profit users may be granted a waiver of the fee. Please contact email@example.com for copyright questions.
This project was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State and the New Jersey
Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National
Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily
represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the
New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
Additionally, any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the Newark Public Library or the New Jersey Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library.
Return to Latino Life Stories: Latino Oral History page | Return to Main Latino Oral History page | Return to NJHRIC Main page
©2013 The Newark Public Library
5 Washington Street
P.O. Box 630 Newark, NJ 07101-0630