Interviewer

Mireya Loza

Project

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

7-20-2007

Length of Interview

24 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1286

Transcript Number

No. 1286

Length of Transcript

15 pages

Interview Number

No. 1286

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.