Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Miguel Jáquez was born on May 7, 1931, in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, México; he grew up in Súchil, Durango, with his nine siblings; when he was eight years old, he began working cutting wood and planting beans and corn; one of his brothers was a bracero and encouraged him to enroll in the Bracero Program; in 1953, he enlisted, and he worked in Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas, picking cotton; he continued working with the program until 1959.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Jáquez recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; one of his brothers was a bracero and encouraged him to enroll in the Bracero Program; in 1953, he enlisted, and began the hiring process; he describes the contracting centers in Durango, Durango, Monterrey, Nuevo León, and Empalme, Sonora, México, and the entire hiring process, as well as the extensive medical exams; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas, picking cotton; he goes on to explain what daily life was like on the farm, including work, wages, payments, contract amendments and extensions, housing, food, weekend outings, and common complaints; in addition, he mentions specific instances of racism the braceros experienced in various towns; he concludes with fond memories of his overall experiences as a bracero.
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Interview with Miguel Jáquez López by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1007," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.