Interviewer

Anaís Acosta

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Hipólito Burrola Ruiz was born on November 25, 1936, on a ranch in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México; he is one of fourteen children; as a child, he would help his uncles in the fields; when he was twelve years old, he dropped out of school in order to begin working and helping his family financially; he was married in 1958, and the following year, he enlisted in the bracero program; as a bracero, he worked in New Mexico and Texas; he continued working with the program until 1961.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Burrola briefly discusses his family and childhood; in1958, he was married; the following year he enlisted in the bracero program at a contracting center in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México; he mentions the long waiting lines, the required documents, examinations, and how callused hands were essential to obtaining a contract; from there, he was transported by train to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, where he underwent further assessments and was deloused; in addition, he describes the poor conditions at the center; as a bracero, he worked in Artesia, New Mexico and O Brien and Pecos, Texas; he recalls how some men had to be tricked into going to Pecos, Texas; no one wanted to go there, because they were paid poorly and the harvest was usually not very good; he goes on to discuss his living and working conditions, wages, provisions, and recreational activities; when his contracts ended, he was returned to Rio Vista by bus, given food, and left on his own to return to México; he continued working with the program until 1961; he concludes by reflecting on the program overall and what it meant to him to be a bracero.

Date of Interview

11-12-2005

Length of Interview

36 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1095

Transcript Number

No. 1095

Length of Transcript

25 pages

Interview Number

No. 1095

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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