Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Antonio Góntiz was born on December 19, 1918, in Morelia, Michoacán, México; he was one of eleven children; his mother was a housewife and his father was a school teacher; he was formally educated through the sixth grade; his father was a teacher and later owned several movie theaters; he joined the Bracero Program in 1943 and worked for a meat packing company in Chicago; additionally, Mr. Góntiz Aguilar worked for the Burlington railroad company in Galesburg, Illinois; his last bracero contract was in 1945.
Summary of Interview
In 1943, Mr. Góntiz, decided to enlist in the bracero program and went through the contracting center in Morelia, Michoacán, México; he mentions going through the health inspection station in Uruapan, Michoacán, México; as part of the process, he was medically examined and vaccinated by American doctors; he goes on to detail the transportation conditions, provisions, duties, payments, remittances, treatment, friendships, correspondence and recreational activities; his main duties included clearing the tracks of snow and straightening the railroad ties; he continued working without documentation after his contract ended; he was sent to a place the braceros called la California, he was released, and sent to El Paso, Texas; he was deported to Querétaro, México; in 1975, he emigrated to the United States; his overall memories of the program are positive.
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Interview with Antonio Góntiz by Mireya Loza, 2005, "Interview no. 1085," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.