Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Jose S. Velazquez was born on 1938 in Santiago Papasquiaro, Durango, México. His parents worked in the field during the rainy seasons. Mr. Velazquez worked since he was a young child with his parents without having any access to an education. At age seventeen he began working as a bracero. He worked picking cotton, beets, and other foods in different places such as Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, California and Chicago.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Velazquez managed to fake his age by saying he was eighteen years old in order to be hired in the bracero program. His first destination was a ranch in Colorado, in which he and other four braceros worked picking cotton; the treatment of his bosses was excellent. He returned as a bracero and worked in Manteca, California and Artesia, New Mexico. Mr. Velazquez returned without documentation to the United States and worked in the states of Texas and Chicago. He worked without documentation in the United States for approximately twenty years. Velazquez worked in the metal casting over two years in Chicago. He returned to Mexico for a short period and would return to the United States for another two years. Mr. Velazquez worked in Texas without documentation for some time and finally returned to Mexico and took care of animals. Mr. Velazquez received his American residency with the help of his son that made the request for him.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Jose S. Velazquez by Mireya Loza, 2008, "Interview no. 1386," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.