Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ramon García was born on September 22, 1935, in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, México; he was the oldest of four siblings; his parents got divorced when he was seven years old; he was educated through the second grade; he started working in the fields of wheat when he was fifteen, and crossed illegally to the U.S two times as well; at the age of eighteen he became a bracero and worked mainly in the cotton fields in Arkansas and Texas; he worked as a bracero from 1953 to 1958; he later became a U.S. citizen.
Summary of Interview
Mr. García mentions his childhood and how difficult it was when his parents separated; he and his siblings had to work to support their family when they were only children; he crossed illegally at the age of fifteen to work in the U.S.; when he was eighteen he decided to enlist in the bracero program and went to the contracting center in Monterrey, Nuevo León; he remembers the entire process, including the waiting times, the amount of people, and the harsh conditions; he recalls the medical exams he went through; after being hired he was sent to Arkansas to the cotton fields; he describes with detail the living conditions at the field, their duties, friendships, payments, and how they spent their free time; he also work in other fields in Texas, but he mentions that his favorite place was Arkansas; in 1958 he returned to México where he worked as a taxi-driver for fifteen years; he and his family emigrated to the U.S. with the help of his father, who was already an American citizen; in the U.S. he worked for the McCormick Company and he retired after 29 years; he concludes that the bracero program was a positive experience for him.
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Interview with Ramon García by Alejandra Díaz, 2010, "Interview no. 1460," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.