Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Jesús Sierra was born on June 21, 1935; he grew up in a stonemason family in Durango, Durango, México; he was the oldest of five brothers; at an early age, he worked cutting stone to help his father; in 1956, he joined the Bracero Program and worked in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; he picked cotton, strawberries, and tomatoes; he also harvested lettuce and sugar beets.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Sierra grew up in Durango, Durango, México; he learned stonemasonry from his father; in 1956, he joined the Bracero Program due to economic hardship; he worked in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas; additionally, he describes the hiring process he went through, the legal requirements of the program, how the bracero reception centers in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México and Empalme, Sonora, México worked, and the different ports of entry to the United States; he recounts his experience at Rio Vista, a bracero processing center in Socorro, Texas; furthermore, he recalls his first activities farming, how work was distributed, their wages, and their contracts; he also details the housing they had, the treatment they received from foremen, the relationships among braceros and what they did during weekends.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Jesús Sierra Espinoza by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1020," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.