Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
María C. Ayon was born on December 12, 1930, in Morelia, Michoacán, México; she had eight brothers and sisters, four of whom are still living; the small ranch where she was raised did not yield enough for her family to survive; consequently, they moved to México, Distrito Federal; she later married and had twelve children; in 1990, her husband passed away, and shortly thereafter, she immigrated to the United States; while there, she met her second husband, Vicente Ayón Luna, during the midnineties; Vicente worked in the fields of California under the bracero program.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Ayón discusses her family and childhood at length; she begins to sob upon recollecting the abusive relationship of her parents; her mother died when she was roughly fifteen years old; consequently, as the eldest of the five children still living at home, she was forced to care for the rest of her siblings; she later married and had twelve children of her own, nine of whom survived; moreover, she talks about each of her children, their careers, and how she lost three of them; in 1990, her husband passed away, and shortly thereafter, she immigrated to the United States; a few years later, in 1996, she met Vicente Ayón Luna, who was also a widow; three months later, they were married; they moved to Oakley, California, and labored in the fields together for about a year; Vicente was a bracero, and he worked primarily in California picking cotton, grapes, green beans, lettuce, oranges, and tomatoes; as a bracero, he suffered, particularly when crossing into the United States, because he was stripped in front of everyone; when the program ended, he chose to stay rather than return to México; he later married his first wife, and she was able to help him obtain legal documentation.
Date of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with María C. Ayon by Violeta Mena, 2006, "Interview no. 1145," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.