Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Beatriz Martínez Hernández was born in Zacatecas, México, on March 18, 1930; her parents later had a son, but he passed away; her father’s job led the family to move to Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato, México, where she grew up; her formal education extended through the third grade; she married when she was roughly sixteen years old; her husband later enlisted in the bracero program; they went on to have six children.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Martínez briefly mentions her family and childhood; during her adolescence she worked helping a woman cook and clean; Beatriz describes meeting her husband and the four year courtship that ensued; they eventually married when she was roughly sixteen years old, and they stayed in Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato, México; in 1953, her husband enlisted in the bracero program; he went through the contracting center in Irapuato, Guanajuato, México, where he endured long lines and physical exams before obtaining a forty day contract; at the time, he and Beatriz had three children and lived on their own; his family knew he was gone, and they would often ask Beatriz if she had heard from him; he sent letters and what little money he could home; in general, he was a reserved man and spoke very little about his experiences; Beatriz’s compadre, José, was also a bracero; he went more often and stayed longer than her husband; when José returned home, he brought gifts, including pantyhose for all the women in the family; Beatriz goes on to talk about life after the program and how they went on to have six children.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Beatriz Martínez Hernández by Mireya Loza, 2007, "Interview no. 1286," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.