Interviewee

Ceferino Palomares

Interviewer

Violeta Dominguez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Ceferino Palomares was born on December 1, 1922, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México; his father died when he was young, and his maternal grandfather cared for the family shortly thereafter; sometime later, his mother also passed away, and the family eventually drifted apart; in 1944, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; as a bracero he worked in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; his duties included working in the fields, in a manufacturing plant, and on the railroads.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Palomares discusses his family and childhood; he initially learned about the Bracero Program through an advertisement in the local newspaper; his brother, Alfonso, encouraged him to enroll in the program; in 1944, they were both hired at the contracting center in their hometown of Tampico, Tamaulipas, México; consequently, Ceferino continued to go through the center in Tampico for all of his subsequent work contracts; his first contract took him to work on the railroads in Union City, Pennsylvania; when his contract ended six months later, he returned to México; the following year, in 1945, he went to work in a steel plant in Chicago, Illinois, that manufactured military armor; while working there, he had an accident that nearly cut off his left foot; he later decided to break his contract due to the horrible working conditions, and a cousin of his found him work in a laundry mat; in 1947, he worked in the lemon fields of Ohio; after the war was over, he came into the United States illegally to live with his brother in Chicago, and he was later deported; he goes on to comment on Mexican workers who come into the United States in search of a better life and how they are often taken advantage of.

Date of Interview

4-19-2003

Length of Interview

149 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1062

Transcript Number

No. 1062

Length of Transcript

54 pages

Interview Number

No. 1062

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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