Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Sebastián Jaimes was born in 1914, in Coyota (later San José del Río), Michoacán, México; as a young boy, he worked in the fields with his family; two of his siblings died when he was a child; in 1952, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in Arizona and California; later, he attempted to secure another bracero contract, but was refused after an inspection of his teeth; he returned to México and now lives in Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Jaimes recalls his childhood and his early work in the fields; he explains how he attended school with a private teacher, and when two of his siblings died; additionally, he details his experiences before becoming a bracero, and how he once refused to marry a rich girl because he was poor; he discusses how he sold candies to survive in Empalme, Sonora, México while waiting to receive his first bracero contract; in 1952, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in Arizona and California; he states that, when his first contract was up, he returned to México and attempted to rejoin the Bracero Program; he expresses how he was able to apply, but was refused enterance into the program after officials at a contracting center checked his teeth; he relates how later he was returned to the border; there, he had to ask customs officials for help in securing transportation home; after this experience, he decided to stay in México, and now lives in Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
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Interview with Sebastián Jaimes Gutiérrez by Violeta Domínguez, 2003, "Interview no. 1051," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.