Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mrs. Enriqueta Quintero was born on July 14, 1935, in Mezcaltitán, Sinaloa, Mexico; she was the youngest of her three siblings; at the age of fourteen, she married a bracero fifteen years her senior; he worked in Imperial, Fresno, and San Joaquin, California; his contracts lasted from forty-five days to six months; they had six children; two of her brothers also joined the bracero program; she stayed in her hometown for several years while her husband worked as a bracero; he eventually moved the family to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico; at the time of the interview, Mrs. Enriqueta Quintero was living in Mexicali, Mexico and was a bracero advocate.
Summary of Interview
Mrs. Quintero describes her hometown and what her life was like growing up; she explains that the young women of her home town were taken by force by the local men; in 1949, at the age of fourteen, she decided to marry in order to avoid the men of her town; in 1950, she gave birth to a daughter; her husband returned to the United States the following year; she describes his family as well-to-do; Mr. Quintero was a bracero in California until 1964; she details the suffering he endured and the low pay that he received while working as a bracero; while still living in her hometown, he would visit the family between contracts; her husband sent money home to his father and she was told to ask her father-in-law for the money; she began making a living as a seamstress; she and their six children moved to Mexicali, Mexico; in 1973, Mr. Quintero died of a heart attack; later, Mrs. Quintero became a supervisor at a clothing maquiladora and went on to own her own shop with twenty industrial machines; she states that she does not have the paperwork to recover her husband’s pension; her wish is for the braceros to get the ten percent deduction from their pay returned to them; she became an activist for their cause.
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Interview with Enriqueta Quintero by Mireya Loza, 2006, "Interview no. 1310," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.