Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Flora García Villalva was born in El Paso, Texas; she had two sisters and one brother, and together they grew up in the Lower Valley area of El Paso; her father owned a grocery store where many of his clients were braceros; while still attending Ysleta High School, she began working as a clerk and typist at Rio Vista, a processing center for braceros in Socorro, Texas; she worked there from 1954 to 1958.
Summary of Interview
Ms. García remembers the grocery store her father owned and operated for thirty-five years; because the store was in an area where there were a number of cotton fields, many of their clients were braceros, with whom they developed a close relationship over time; her father had a friend who worked for the El Paso Cotton Association, and recommended her for a job at Rio Vista, a bracero processing center in Socorro, Texas, where she later became a clerk and typist; he also recommended her for a job with the Department of Labor; while working at Rio Vista, she would type and process the paperwork necessary for bracero contracts; each bracero would take at least thirty minutes to complete the papers with her; she gives a detailed description of the various procedures she was aware of and comments that there were several departments the braceros had to go through, including immigration, health, labor, and transportation; she worked there only during the summers from 1954 to 1958; later, while working at the Department of Labor, she recalls that inspectors often visited with the contractors to ensure that the working and living conditions for the braceros were up to standards.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Flora Garcia Villalva by Fernanda Carrillo, 2003, "Interview No. 1556," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.