Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ismael Osorio was born in June of 1923, in Chalcatongo de Hidalgo, Oaxaca, México; he went to school only through the sixth grade, because there were no secondary schools in his hometown; in 1944, he decided to begin the enrollment process for the Bracero Program; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington, for a total of twelve years; he later emigrated to the United States, and he became a foreman for the Garing Company.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Osorio briefly discusses his childhood and adolescence; he went to school only through the sixth grade, because there were no secondary schools in his hometown; while searching for a school, he became aware of the bracero contracting center in México, Distrito Federal; in spite of the rumors he had heard that he might have to fight in the war as a bracero, he decided to begin the enrollment process in 1944; he initially began the procedures by paying to get his name on the county’s list of workers in Oaxaca, México; from there, he traveled to Ciudad México, and finally to Irapuato, Guanajuato, where he had to wait for four months before obtaining a contract; he was then transported to El Paso, Texas, where he underwent medical examinations and was deloused; his first contract took him to Olympia, Washington, and a year later he was sent to California to work for the Harding Produce Company; he goes on to explain his various jobs and how he carried them out, methods of payment, living conditions, and the overall treatment he received; in addition, he describes the hierarchical chain of command he encountered at the various companies he worked in throughout his twelve years as a bracero; he was ultimately able to emigrate to the United States, and he went on to work as a foreman for the Garing Company.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Ismael Z. Nicolás Osorio by Lety Bocanegra, 2005, "Interview no. 1102," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.