Interview with Jorge Camuñas Muñiz on September 5, 2019

CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-

In this interview, Camuñas describes his life growing up in Santurce, Puerto Rico, his career as a thoracic surgeon and the founding of the Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York. Part One 00:00:00 He begins by discussing the motivation behind the Hispanic Genealogical Society toward the end of his medical career. 00:12:25 He shares details about his ancestry while doing research in Puerto Rico and talks about how genetics and socialization work together to influence a person’s culture. 00:18:45 Camuñas recalls his early years growing up in Puerto Rico and shares memories about his parents. 00:31:50 He describes his education experience at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola and Georgetown University. 00:41:44 He reflects on the role of culture and assimilation after moving to United States and his affinity for Georgetown Medical School. 00:53:14 Camuñas discusses his work at Harlem Hospital and why he chose thoracic surgery as his specialty.
Part Two 00:00:00 In the second half of the interview, Camuñas starts by recalling Harlem in the 1970s and the variety of patients he treated. 00:07:45 He shares one story about how his excellent reputation as a surgeon reached a family member in Puerto Rico. 00:12:40 Camuñas discusses teaching medical students and residents at Mt. Sinai Hospital 00:16:30 He reflects on the changes in the medical field during that period and his transition to the VA hospital in the Bronx. 00:30:15 Camuñas reflects on embracing one’s Puerto Rican identity in order to build resilience and strength. He concludes by referring back to the role of the Hispanic Genealogical Society in this important work.

September 5, 2019, Recording date
Jorge Camuñas Muñiz
Raquel Ríos
1h 46m 14.0s
Location of interview

Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 695 Park Ave. New York, NY

Object Type
Moving Image
Related Keywords
Public health, Medical professionals, Hospitals, Higher education
Individuals or Organizations Mentioned
Ivan Camuñas Muñiz, Alfred Sosa, Charlie Fourquet Batiz, Dick Eastman, Otilio Diaz, Nelida Perez, Elsie Deliz, Juan de Dios Monje, Monserate Renta, Henry Louis Gates, Jorge Camuñas Monje, Mañuel Lorenzo Camuñas Crauz, Luis Muñoz Rivera, Pedro Albizu Campos, Luis Muñoz Marin, Wilfrid Desan, Olaseni Sawyer, Ron Grant, Bailey K. Ashford, Panchito Muñiz, Mario Savio, José Ferrer, Charles Hufnagel, Robert S. Litwack, Randall Greek, David Adams, Tom Heiman, Hector Nadal, La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York, New York State. Office of Federal Affairs, Archdiocese of New York, Archivo Histórico Nacional, Castillo San Cristóbal, Registro Demográfico de Puerto Rico, Central High School, University of Puerto Rico, Cervecería Corona, Lions Club, Estado Libre Asociado, Casa de Niños Manuel Fernández Juncos, Union de Mujeres Americanas, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, St. John’s Cathedral School, Sagado Corazón, Regis High School, Fraternidad, Kings County Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, Black Panther Party, St. Luke’s Hospital, San Juan VA Hospital, Pedro Juan Hernández, Xavier High School, Xavier High School
Related Places
Center for Puerto Rican Studies (interview location), Spain (is referenced), El Barrio (is referenced), Puerto Rico (is referenced), San Juan, PR (is referenced), Río Grande, PR (is referenced), Santurce, San Juan, PR (is referenced), Ponce, PR (is referenced), Fajardo, PR (is referenced), Mexico (is referenced), Jayuya, PR (is referenced), Ciales, PR (is referenced), Ghana (is referenced), Haiti (is referenced), India (is referenced), Philippines (is referenced), Nigeria (is referenced)
Related Dates
1830, Date mentioned
1950s, Date mentioned
1976, Date mentioned
1993, Date mentioned
1996, Date mentioned
CENTRO: 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, 2013-. Interview with Jorge Camuñas Muñiz on September 5, 2019: JCam.2019.09.05.FullInterview. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY. Web. 06 Aug 2020.
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Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library and Archives
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