Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Héctor Solís was born in Hidalgo, México; he was the fifth of nine brothers; at an early age, he worked in agriculture; at age fifteen, he moved to Mexico City, México for school; he joined the Bracero Program in 1953, and worked in California picking almonds, cotton, peaches, and tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Solís recalls growing up in Hidalgo, México; at age fifteen, he remembers moving to Mexico City, México for school; he later decided to join the Bracero Program after hearing positive stories about it from his brothers; a bracero from 1953 to 1956, he worked in California picking almonds, cotton, peaches, and tomatoes; he describes enrolling in a small town, paying bribes to appear on a selection list, and what the hiring process was like at Empalme, Sonora, México; additionally, he recounts the long wait there, the routine questions he was asked, and his train trip to the United States border; he details what the process was like at the reception center in California, the medical exams he endured, and how the disinfection process was done; furthermore, he explains the daily activities on the farms, and what their food and housing was like; he discusses the treatment they received from foremen, and the relationship among braceros; moreover, he presents the complaints braceros voiced, and the misunderstandings they had about their contracts; he recounts how once his contract was terminated before its expiration date, and how he was left without money to return to México; to conclude, he states that he feels proud to have been a bracero, and explains why he decided to stay in México, and why he feels that México is a better place to educate a family.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Héctor Solís Fuentes by Violeta Domínguez, 2002, "Interview no. 1044," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.