After earning a BA in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut and working for the Connecticut State Archeologist, Eileen served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon as a fish farming advisor. Following many years of fish farming in California, Oklahoma and Tamaulipas, Mexico, she and her husband, the artist Guido Mattei, moved to Harlingen in 1993.
Eileen is a freelance history, travel and nature writer. She is the author of six regional histories including For the Good of My Patients: The History of Medicine in the Rio Grande Valley; Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History (with Pino Shah); At the Crossroads: Harlingen’s First 100 Years and Leading the Way: McAllen’s First 100 Years.
She has written more than 100 articles which have been published in On Point: The Journal of Army History, Texas Coop Power, Texas Highways and Texas Wildlife Association magazines, among others. She is the former editor of Valley Business Report. Currently she is writing a series of history and heritage articles on Mercedes, Texas.
While on the Cameron County Historical Commission, she plans to concentrate on oral histories, military history and public outreach.
Eileen is an active Texas Master Naturalist, specializing in leading school groups on nature tours and awakening an appreciation of the Valley’s natural wonders.