Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Cirino Flores was born in Tizayuca, Hidalgo, México; he is the youngest of three brothers; his mother died when he was four years old, and he grew up with his paternal grandparents; he worked in agriculture from an early age; at the age of nineteen, he moved to Mexico City, México, and joined the Bracero Program in 1951; he worked in California and Texas picking carrots, green peppers, lemons, oranges, and tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Flores recalls growing up in Tizayuca, Hidalgo, México, and that his mother died when he was four years old; he states that he labored in agriculture throughout his youth, and that he moved to Mexico City, México when he was nineteen; additionally, he remembers joining the Bracero Program in 1951 due to economic hardship; he describes the hiring process at contracting centers in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México and Empalme, Sonora, México, his train trip to the United States-México border, and the hardships braceros experienced at reception centers; furthermore, he details what daily life was like at the farms, the housing they had, and how work was carried out; he explains the kinds of contracts they had and their extensions; moreover, he relates the internal competitions between braceros, what they did on weekends, and how braceros stuck together during difficult situations; he also explains that he received bad treatment from Mexican-American foremen, the humiliation he felt, and the complaints braceros had over issues like food; to conclude, he recounts what the benefits were of having been a bracero, and how that experience help him and his family.
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Cirino Flores Pérez by Violeta Domínguez, 2002, "Interview no. 1033," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.