María Cristina López was born in San Francisco del Oro, a gold mining town in Chihuahua Mexico. After moving to Juarez, she attended school in El Paso TX. She attended college in Albuquerque and started her work life as a Lab Tech at Lovelace Clinic. Moving to Milwuakee WI, she started working and teaching English as a Second Language ESL with the immigrant and migrant workers’ community, and the Concentrated Employment Program. Eventually making her way back to New Mexico, López worked in Santa Fe with La Clinica de la Gente doing Health Educatio. In the 1990s, she became involved in the Central American Sanctuary Movement. An immigrant, López has dedicated her life to working in the immigrant community in New Mexico. She is one of the original founders of Somos un Pueblo Unido (a statewide immigrant rights organization). In her faculty tenure at Santa Fe Community College, she developed the Heritage Language (New Mexico Spanish) Program. As a Court Interpreter, López, she continues her involvement in immigrant rights and justice.
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.