Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Alfredo Fuentes was born on January 30, 1936, in La Constancia, Durango, México; when he was five years old, he began helping his father by working in the fields; the financial hardships he and his family endured throughout his childhood and adolescence led him to enroll in the Bracero Program in 1956; as a bracero, he worked picking cotton in New Mexico and Texas; he continued working in the program until 1964.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Fuentes briefly recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; his family’s financial difficulties led him to enroll in the Bracero Program in 1956; he narrates the entire contracting process as well the medical exams he underwent beginning in Durango, Durango, México, and continuing through to Chihuahua; in addition, he describes how he was transported on a cargo train from the contracting center in Chihuahua to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; while there, he had to go through disinfecting procedures; in addition, he goes on to explain what daily life was like on the farm, including the work, wages, payments, housing, and food; furthermore, he comments that he was treated well by his American employers; he also tells what his return trip to México in 1964 was like, and he concludes that he is very proud to have worked as a bracero.
Date of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Alfredo Fuentes Soto by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1001," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.