Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Patricio Padilla Rubio was born March 17, 1926, in Cuchillo Parado, Chihuahua, México; he is the youngest of six brothers; when he was a child, his father was the foreman for a ranch in Presidio, Texas, and he would often travel between Texas and México; Patricio enrolled in the bracero program when he was eighteen years old; as a bracero, he worked in New Mexico and Texas, where his duties ranged from weighing cotton to caring for animals and crops; he completed his last contract in 1960; although he did legalize his residency, he chose to permanently reside in México.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Padilla briefly describes his family and childhood; he speaks about his father’s job as a foreman for a ranch in Presidio, Texas, and how he would often travel between Texas and México; when Patricio was eighteen, he enrolled in the bracero program; his first contract took him to a ranch in Marfa, Texas, where he cared for livestock; upon his return to México, he married and subsequently had children; his second contract took him to Dexter, New Mexico, where he weighed cotton; the following contracts took him to work at different ranches in Pecos, Texas, where he learned to drive a tractor; he goes on to discuss his various duties as a bracero, working and living conditions, contract renewals and extensions, treatment, provisions, recreational activities, and remittances; after his last contract in 1960, he bought land in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, which is where he later lived and worked; although he did legalize his residency, he chose to permanently reside in México.
Date of Interview
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Interview with Patricio Padilla Rubio by Ana Rosas, 2005, "Interview no. 1093," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.