Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Samuel Chavira was born in September of 1925, in the municipality of General Frías, Chihuahua, México; his father was a farmer who taught him the agricultural trade; he and his family eventually moved to the Chihuahua, Chihuahua; in 1949, he married, and nearly a year later, enrolled in the Bracero Program.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Chavira briefly recalls his childhood; at the age of thirteen, he began working odd jobs wherever he could find them; for a brief time, he worked in construction; he knew of the Bracero Program because he lived in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, which was one of the programs main contracting centers; in 1950, he began the hiring process to become a bracero; he goes on to give a detailed explanation of the various phases during hiring, including his transfer to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, where he was medically examined; in addition, he describes filling out the necessary paperwork; his main duties included agricultural work and caring for the cattle; as a bracero, he worked in Illinois, New Mexico, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Wisconsin; in 1952, with the help of his boss, he became a legal United States resident; two years later, he was able to do the same for his family.
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Interview with Samuel Chavira by Fernanda Carrillo, 2003, "Interview no. 1124," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.