Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Cayetano Vasquez was born on August 7, 1929, in Concepción del Oro, Zacatecas, México; his father was a farmer, and he owned the land he worked; as a teenager, Cayetano worked in the mines of his hometown; in 1951, he crossed into the United States illegally in order to work, and he was deported shortly thereafter; two years later, in 1953, he enlisted in the Bracero Program; as a bracero he worked picking various fruits and vegetables throughout the United States; he continued working with the program until 1964.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Vasquez briefly discusses his childhood and family; he recounts his time working in the mines of his hometown, in Concepción de Oro, Zacatecas, México; in 1951, he crossed into the United States illegally in order to work, and he was deported shortly thereafter; two years later, in 1953, he decided to enlist in the Bracero Program, and he traveled to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, to begin the process; after paying for the trip there, he had very little money left, and he had to wait two weeks before being hired; as a bracero he worked picking various fruits and vegetables throughout the United States; after each contract ended, he returned to México and began the hiring process all over again; he went through centers in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Empalme, Sonora, Hidalgo, Hidalgo, and Monterrey, Nuevo León, México; he goes on to describe the various places he worked as well as the range of jobs he performed; in addition, he comments on the contract amendments and lengths; he recalls working in Arkansas, and repeatedly being sent back and forth between there and Michigan; from 1958 to 1960, he worked primarily in California; in January of 1964, he was hired on his last contract, and he worked irrigating cotton fields.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Cayetano Vasquez G. by Violeta Dominguez, 2003, "Interview no. 1064," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.