Interviewee

Jose E. Chavarría

Interviewer

Laureano Martínez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Jose E. Chavarría was born in San Pedro de las Colonias, Coahuila, México, but grew up in Torreón, Coahuila; when he was very young, his father killed his mother, and he fled from home; he went to live with his grandmother, but the rest of his family soon split up; in 1947, he became a bracero and remained working as such until 1950; he worked in New Mexico and Texas picking cotton.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Chavarría briefly describes his childhood; when he was very young, his father killed his mother, and he fled from home; he went to live with his grandmother, but the rest of his family soon split up; shortly thereafter, he went to work on a dairy farm where the rancher not only employed him, but treated him like a son; in 1947, he went through the hiring process and became a bracero; upon being hired, he was sent to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, where he underwent medical examinations; he details his first job picking cotton and what that entailed; in addition, he describes the housing conditions and the various foods that they cooked and ate; many braceros would play cards, drink, and gamble nearly every weekend; he was invited to play, but lost all of his money, which later developed into a bad habit for him and other braceros as well; he later recounts how some braceros were tricked and often stolen from.

Date of Interview

3-11-2003

Length of Interview

42 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1122

Transcript Number

No. 1122

Length of Transcript

26 pages

Interview Number

No. 1122

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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