Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Javier García was born on May 23, 1937, in Estación Progreso, Durango, México; when he was eight years old, he began farming and working in the fields; the financial hardships he experienced during the 1950s led him to enroll in the Bracero Program in 1957; as a bracero, he worked in California picking and packaging tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. García briefly recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; in 1957, during his first year of marriage, he found himself out of work, and he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; in order to begin the hiring process, he had to take a bus from Durango, Durango, to Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and from there to the border; he details the various procedures of the hiring process at the contracting center in Guadalajara and the reception center in El Centro, California, as well as the medical examinations he underwent; as a bracero, he worked in California picking and packaging tomatoes; in addition, he describes what daily life was like for braceros on the farms, including work, wages, payments, contract extensions and amendments, housing, food, their weekend outings, and how they were treated by their American employers; he comments that the quality of the food was extremely poor, and they were also served very small portions; following his description of what his life was like after having worked as a bracero, he concludes that he is proud to have been part of the program because it benefited him greatly.
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Interview with Javier García Robles by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1003," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.