Claudia Morales Aro
Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Félix was born on September 21, 1939, in Tepetongo, Zacatecas, México; as a child he would eagerly wait for his father to come home from working as a bracero; he knew at a young age that he also wanted to become a bracero; in 1959, he began the hiring process for the Bracero Program; he worked in various cities throughout California, Illinois, and Texas.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Félix recalls that as a child, he would eagerly wait for his father to come home form working as a bracero; he knew at a young age that he also wanted to come to the United States to work as a bracero; when he was eighteen, he began marching in the Mexican army in order to obtain his military ID card so he could enlist as a bracero; in 1959, he went to Empalme, Sonora, México, to begin the hiring process; he describes what the center was like and how he waited twenty-one days for a contract; in addition, he explains how he was medically examined and then transported to Mexicali, Baja California; he goes on to detail the medical exams he underwent in Calexico, California, including x-rays, blood samples, and the delousing process; his first work contract took him to Stockton, California, for three months; after his contract expired he returned to México, and he later went through the contracting center in Guasave, Sinaloa, México, which took him to work in Salinas, California, picking lettuce; he later went through another contracting center in Matamoros, Taumalipas, and he worked picking cotton in Texas; when his contract expired, he again returned to México; sometime later, he was able to arrange the necessary paperwork for him to emigrate into the United States.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with José Félix Prieto by Claudia Morales Aro, 2003, "Interview no.1262," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.