Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Petra Sanchez was born on 1923, in El Paso, Texas; then moved to Durango, Mexico. Her mother was a housewife caring for animals and she also worked on fruit fields, and her father worked in agriculture and spent time selling fruits and clothes; Mrs.Sánchez was married at her 20 years old with Luis Sánchez who was 22 years old from Durango, who worked in fields and after 3 years of marriage they moved to El Paso and became a bracero. They had 6 children but two of them died.
Summary of Interview
Mrs. Sanchez had seven sibling and all went to school but she had to repeat first grade because her reading and writing. She was married in Durango, Mexico and then moved to El Paso with her family. Her husband was hired as a bracero working in cotton fields, all his family lived there because they did not need to pay for the house and utilities. He did the bracero hiring process for the Bracero Program in Juárez with the help of the “patron”, once he was bracero, his salary was $2.25 per hour and he worked Monday to Saturday, 8 hours per day. After five or six months, Mr. Sánchez was hired at Clint but this time his family stays in El Paso; Luis fixes his papers in Arizona and got his residence in about 1 or 2 years. He took the bus to visit his family during weekends. After years, they moved to Arizona and Luis has a job, but this time not as a bracero, his salary was higher and they live better. Luis was hired in a hotel “Golf Course” for 25 years and was retired at 75 years old; Mr. Sánchez died 4 years later in February, 2001 at 79 years old.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
47 minutes 19 seconds
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Petra Sanchez by Marina Kalashnicova, 2008, "Interview no. 1377," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.