Elnora Peralta was raised in a rural area of the Philippines before attending high school and nursing school in the city, graduating in 1967. She came to Philadelphia in 1970 to work as a nurse as part of an exchange-visitor program. She helped form an organization that reformed the labor practices therein, moving to New York and attained permanent residency. She got married and had two children before moving to Houston in 1978, eventually rising to the position of chief nursing officer at Hermann Memorial. At the time of the interview, Peralta was active with the Philippine Nurses Association.