Family Story


The Saez Velez Family Story

Learn about the Saez Velez family, who lived in 103 Orchard Street in the 1960s-1970s.

This Family Story is part of our Upper Elementary Unit Plan. You can view the full unit plan here.


Overview

This article shares the story of the Saez Velezes, who migrated from Puerto Rico to the Lower East Side of New York in 1955. Students learn about Puerto Rican as United States citizens, the diversity of the Lower East Side in the 1960s, and they explore how brothers José and Andy and their mom Ramonita created support and Puerto Rican community in the Lower East Side, despite many barriers. Primary sources include a class portrait from 1959 and an oral history interview. The teacher’s guide includes comprehension and connection questions and a writing activity.


Time Period

1960s


Related Topics

  • Puerto Rican Migration
  • Bilingual Education
  • Garment Industry


Primary Sources

  • José Velez’s 3rd Grade Class Portrait, 1959 – Check out who was in José Velez’s 3rd grade class in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1959. (See below)
  • Oral History: Memory from José About Helping His Mom – Listen to a migrant from Puerto Rico, José Velez, remember an important rule he had to follow as a child. (See below)

José Velez’s 3rd Grade Class Portrait, 1959

Check out who was in José Velez’s 3rd grade class in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1959.


Associated Lessons

Upper Elementary: 4-5th Grade

Think Deeply About Family Interviews

Teach students about how a Puerto Rican family made a difference with their oral histories.

Read More

Questions on lessons and activities?

The materials on this page can enrich a visit to the Museum or help you teach about immigration. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us.

Are you an Educator?

Sign-up here to receive our monthly educator newsletter featuring teacher resources, classroom activities, information on upcoming workshops and school program opportunities, and more.

Sign-Up