Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Gonzalo Morales was born in Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua, México, in 1930; he helped his father work the fields of their hometown; his parents passed away when he was only seven years old; he and his six siblings went to live with an uncle; when he became a bracero, he was married and had three children; he worked in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Morales briefly recounts his childhood; in 1954, he heard about the Bracero Program; due to financial difficulties, he decided to go to Chihuahua, Chihuahua México, to begin the hiring process; he recalls how the Mexican President, Lázaro Cárdenas, prohibited people on ejidos from being hired as braceros; only people from ranches were allowed to be braceros; while working as a bracero he was unaware that the Mexican government received 10¢ per bracero that was hired from the ranchers; while waiting in Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, the food the braceros were given was rotten; the water used for showers was often frozen during the winter months; when he worked in Lovington, New Mexico, he was the veterinarian for the ranch; in addition, he was a tractor driver and he helped prepare food for the cattle; this was his best working experience as a bracero.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Gonzalo Morales by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 980," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.