Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Rafael González Muñoz was born on December of 1919, in Puerto de la Concepción, Aguascalientes. His parents worked on a mine, and he had seven siblings; he was educated until the sixth grade; later in 1950 he became a bracero and remained working as such for about five years in different contracts; as a bracero he labored in the cotton, beetroot, chard, and lettuce, in the fields of Texas; after his last contract ended he returned to Mexico, and later immigrated to the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. González talks about his childhood and growing up working in the mines since a young age; in 1950 he moves to the city of Nava in México, close to the border, where he finds out about the Bracero Program; he enlists and goes through the hiring process; furthermore, he mentions the hiring center, the requisites, and the medical examinations they went through; upon crossing he worked in the cotton fields, as well as in chard, lettuce, and beet root fields, in different ranches of the state of Texas; besides of the working conditions, he describes the living conditions, the food, the payments, and what they did in their spare time; he mentions returning to Mexico with frequency while being in a contract as a bracero; after about five years he completed his last contract and returned to Mexico where he lived for some time; he later immigrated to the United States with his family; overall, Mr. Gonzalez mentions being proud of being a former bracero, and that his experiences were positive.
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Interview with Rafael Gonzalez M. by Anaís Acosta, 2010, "Interview no. 1468," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.