Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Raymundo Villa was born in Ysleta, Texas, on December 24, 1939; he had eight brothers and sisters; his father was the foreman on a farm near Ysleta; he initially became involved with the Bracero Program as an interpreter and aide because he could communicate with the braceros; because he often had to help his father work on the farm, he was unable to finish high school; later in 1955, he and his family started working in Washington and Oregon, where he again served as an interpreter.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Villa recalls his childhood growing up on a farm near Ysleta, Texas; he remembers that before the braceros were hired as workers, German POWs and the Tigua Indians would often pick cotton on the farm where he lived; when the braceros were contracted, he acted as an interpreter and aide because his boss could not speak Spanish and they could not speak English; oftentimes he had to help his father work on the farm, and he was unable to finish high school; he recalls picking cotton, the size of the sacks they would use, and how much they were paid; later in the mid 1950s, he and his family left the farm to work in Washington and Oregon during the spring and summer; he picked apples in Chelan, Washington, where braceros were also contracted; eventually, he served as an interpreter and aide there as well; he goes on to describe what life in the labor camps was like for the braceros; in addition, he gives his overall impressions of the Bracero Program.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Raymundo Villa by Richard Baquera, 2003, "Interview No. 1574," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.