Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ma. Davalos was born on July 7, 1952, in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, México; she had six brothers and two sisters; when she was five years old, she began learning about farming from her father, and she continued helping on the farm until she was thirteen; she went to school through the fifth grade, and later after getting married, finished the sixth grade; her father worked as a bracero for roughly four years during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Davalos recalls her childhood, and how she learned about farming from her father when she was only five years old; he was very strict with her, and she would often get in trouble or yelled at for not doing things correctly; when she was about six years old, her father came to the United Stated to work as a bracero because they were in desperate need of money; she remembers that while he was away, he would often send letters, but not necessarily money; on the occasions when he was able to send money, it was a great help; they were once able to buy some cows with the money he sent; in his letters, he wrote about how he worked very hard and often suffered just as much; he described living in the barracks like chickens, one on top of the other; she recalls that he made particular mention of the fact that he picked cotton, and he was consequently hunched over much of the time; despite the poor conditions he often complained of, she only remembers him being sick with a fever once; when her father would come home, he would often bring her dolls and dresses; her father was very proud to have worked as a bracero.
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Ma. Irma Davalos by Anaís Acosta, 2005, "Interview no. 1104," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.