Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Miguel Jáquez was born on May 7, 1931, in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas, México; he grew up in Súchil, Durango, with his nine siblings; when he was eight years old, he began working cutting wood and planting beans and corn; one of his brothers was a bracero and encouraged him to enroll in the Bracero Program; in 1953, he enlisted, and he worked in Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas, picking cotton; he continued working with the program until 1959.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Jáquez recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; one of his brothers was a bracero and encouraged him to enroll in the Bracero Program; in 1953, he enlisted, and began the hiring process; he describes the contracting centers in Durango, Durango, Monterrey, Nuevo León, and Empalme, Sonora, México, and the entire hiring process, as well as the extensive medical exams; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas, picking cotton; he goes on to explain what daily life was like on the farm, including work, wages, payments, contract amendments and extensions, housing, food, weekend outings, and common complaints; in addition, he mentions specific instances of racism the braceros experienced in various towns; he concludes with fond memories of his overall experiences as a bracero.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Miguel Jáquez López by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1007," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.