Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Sebastián Ruíz Ávila was born in Villa Juárez, San Luis Potosí, México on June 3rd of 1937. His father would do a lit bit of everything to support his family, while his mother was a housewife. He has two brothers and two sisters. Mr. Ruíz had to move to the border due to the economics. By 1957, he had the opportunity to become a bracero.
Summary of Interview
Sebastian Ruíz Ávila lived there up until his late teens. He worked as baker helper in Matamores until he learned about the braceros. He worked at Lamesa, Texas. He was able to help his family back in México by working in the cotton fields everyday. His payment was based on the amount of cotton he would pick up. He worked 6 years as a bracero for the same person. Mr. Ruíz didn’t know English during his time working as a bracero. After having a family in Mexico, Mr. Ruíz stayed there working as a brick-maker. Then, he became a politician, and a street was named after him. He feels to have worked as a bracero because he was able to help his family and live a better life.
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Interview with Sebastián Ruíz Ávila by Anaís Acosta, 2010, "Interview no. 1438," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.