Joaquín Benavides Vázquez

Information courtesy of his grandson Noé Benavides

He migrated from Tomiño to New York around the 1920s. He had got married in Taborda, and had five children, but he did not take the family to the United States, probably because of bureaucratic problems.

Joaquín Benavides in New York (Noé Benavides archive)

In New York, he worked in kitchens, probably in Galician restaurants such as El Quijote, of which Noé keeps a business card.

(Noé Benavides archive)

He was also a member of Unión del Porvenir, the society created in the city in 1918 by emigrants from Taborda and Piñeiro.

He lived in New York until the beginning of the 1950s, without making any visits in between. In that period he transferred money to the family, sometimes through Portugal, and also directly to Galicia, as suggested in a letter sent to his wife.

Receit of a transfer made by Joaquín to his wife Irene González in 1925 (Noé Benavides archive)
Letter from Joaquín to his wife, from New York in 1946 (Noé Benavides archive)

He also sent objects, including a radio on a Singer sewing machine. A letter signed by his brother-in-law asks for a typewriter, requested by the local head of the Falange, Francisco Pino Carrera, who would obtain it as a “donation”. Its price was around 500 pesetas.

Typewriter used by Joaquín for his New York letters (Noé Benavides archive)

Joaquín returned to Tomiño at an advanced age, and unfortunately he did not get to know his youngest son, as he emigrated to Uruguay that same year.

Our thanks to Noé Benavides for sharing this story, and also to the historian Natalia Jorge Pereira.