Claudia Morales Aro
Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Antonio García was born on June 13, 1937, in Tepehuanes, Durango, México, but he grew up in Nuevo Ideal, Durango; he was the eldest of five siblings, two of which died when they were young; when he was five years old, his mother died, and he was raised by his father and step-mother; his father was a farmer who worked as a bracero for a short time; when Antonio was seventeen, he enlisted in the Bracero Program; he continued working with the program on and off until the early 1960s.
Summary of Interview
Mr. García recalls his childhood and family; he went to school through the fourth grade, and he quit school at the age of thirteen in order to work; when he was seventeen, he decided to enlist in the Bracero Program; although he was not yet of age, he arranged for his military ID card to state that he was eighteen years old in order to begin the hiring process; he goes on to describe what the contracting center in Durango, Durango, México was like; his first contract took him to work in the cotton fields of Texas; he describes what the living and working conditions were like while he was there; about a week after being there, he became very ill, and he was unable to work for over two weeks; he believes it was the food that made him so sick; although he was taken to the doctor and given medication, it did not help, and he eventually returned to México; after spending several months in México, he decided he wanted to try working as a bracero again; he describes the contracting centers he went through in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, and Empalme, Sonora, México, as well as the various places he worked in throughout California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
Date of Interview
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Interview with Antonio García by Claudia Morales Aro, 2003, "Interview no. 1260," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.