Interviewee

Ignacio Ochoa

Interviewer

Violeta Domínguez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Ignacio Ochoa was born in 1923, at Petatlán, Guerrero, México; he was the first of six siblings, and his mother died when he was twelve years old; from an early age he worked cutting wood; at age fifteen, he moved to Mexico City, México; in 1943, he worked on a Mexican naval boat; he joined the Bracero Program in 1957, and worked in California and Washington; there he picked asparagus, avocadoes, grapes, green beans, lemons, peas, pumpkins, oranges, strawberries, and watermelon.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Ochoa recalls growing up in Petatlán, Guerrero, México, his mother dying when he was twelve years old, and working from an early age cutting wood; he states that he moved to Mexico City, México at the age of fifteen, and that he started working on a Mexican naval boat in 1943; he remembers joining the Bracero Program in 1957, and working in California and Washington; there he picked asparagus, avocadoes, grapes, green beans, lemons, peas, pumpkins, oranges, strawberries, and watermelon; additionally, he details what the hiring process in Empalme, Sonora, México was like, the contract he signed, and how he didn’t know what it said because it was in English; he describes what daily life was like in bracero camps, what housing they had, and the food they ate; furthermore, he discusses a time when the braceros went on strike over the quality of the food; he also explains the treatment they received from foremen, and how Mexican foremen were worst than American ones; moreover, he relates losing his house in the 1963 earthquake, why he returned to the United States to work as an undocumented laborer, and how he would like to have a visa to live in the U.S.

Date of Interview

6-2-2002

Length of Interview

84 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1040

Transcript Number

No. 1040

Length of Transcript

48 pages

Interview Number

No. 1040

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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