Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Vicente Ayala was born on July 19, 1922, in Tizapotla, Morelos, México; at a young age, he began to work in his family’s fields; he had no formal education; experienced as a field laborer, he performed work for other people; he entered the Bracero Program in 1956, and worked in Billings, Montana and California; as a bracero, he labored at a cannery and picked corn, grapes, lemons, nuts, and pears.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Arizmendi recalls working in the fields of Tizapotla at an early age; he states that he never had the chance to attend formal schooling, and he learned to read and write as an adult; he describes joining the Bracero Program in 1956 after losing his crops and cattle; additionally, he details the work he did in Billings, Montana and California; he remembers working at a cannery, and picking corn, grapes, lemons, nuts, and pears; furthermore, he continues to explain why he labored as an undocumented worker after the program was terminated; he also discusses the problems he had with immigration officials in Chicago and Wisconsin; moreover, he states that, in his later years, he returned to his hometown after experiencing trouble securing work due to his age.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Vicente Ayala Arizmendi by Violeta Domínguez, 2003, "Interview no. 1047," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.