Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Francisco Murrillo Almaraz was born in Tabasco, Zacatecas, México; he never attended formal schooling, and began working in agriculture at an early age; he was the only boy among three siblings; in 1942, he was contracted as a bracero in Mexico City, México; he worked in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; there he picked apples, beets, lemons, oranges, and peaches and also cut lettuce; he worked in the United States for fifty-seven years, and has never become a U.S. citizen.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Murrillo Almaraz remembers growing up in Tabasco, Zacatecas, México and working from an early age in agriculture; he states that he never had formal schooling; in 1942, he explains that he was contracted as a bracero in Mexico City, México; he details that many people, in 1942, did not want to join the bracero program because they were worried that they might be sent to the war; moreover, he worked in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; there he picked apples, beets, lemons, oranges, and peaches and also cut lettuce; he recalls the contracting process, his trip to the border, the medical exams they endured, and crossing into the U.S.; he describes what daily life was like on the farms, the living conditions they had, the pay they received, and the food they ate; furthermore, he relates what braceros did for recreation; he says that he worked in the United States for over fifty-seven years, and that in that time he never wanted to become a U.S. citizen.
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Interview with Francisco Murrillo Almaraz by Mario Sifuentes, 2006, "Interview no. 1197," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.