Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Isidro Abrego was born on April 4, 1931, in Canatlán, Durango, México; he was the youngest of four siblings; at a very early age, he began helping his father work in the fields; the financial strains he and his family faced made him decide to enroll in the Bracero Program in 1953; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming, picking corn, cotton, beets, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes; he continued working with the program until 1964.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Abrego briefly recalls his childhood and family; he remembers the financial difficulties he and his family faced; in light of their economic situation, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program in 1953; he describes the various stages of the hiring process he underwent at the contracting center in Chihuahua, México, and later at Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; as a bracero, he worked in various places across the United States, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming; he details the various types of work he performed in each location, the wages he earned, and contract amendments and extensions; in addition, he describes the daily activities on the farm, the housing, the food, how he sent money to his family in México, and what some braceros typically did on weekends and in their spare time; oftentimes, he was treated well by the farmers he worked for and their families; he concludes that he is proud of having been a bracero, and that working as such provided him with economic stability; in his opinion, the program should be reinstated.
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Interview with Isidro Abrego Alvarado by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 991," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.