Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. XX was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, México, in 1930; he received a formal education through middle school; in 1951, the Bracero Program was very popular in his home state of Zacatecas, which is why, at the age of twenty, he decided to become a bracero; he worked in the program for eight years in Pecos, Texas.
Summary of Interview
Mr. XX was hired as a bracero at a recruiting center in Zacatecas, México; he recalls that there were also other recruitment centers in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Aguascalientes in México; there were two types of braceros, specialized and common; the specialized braceros were hired for eighteen months and received higher salaries; the common braceros were hired for only three months at a time; he worked as a specialized bracero weighing cotton; his job was to make sure that the cotton was not mixed with rocks, wood, or any other objects that would make the cotton weigh more; because the braceros were paid per pound of cotton that they picked, this was a major concern; he also recalls that in order for grocery stores to gain and keep braceros as clients, they would go out to the farms to pick up grocery lists; the groceries would then be delivered to the braceros.
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Interview with Anónimo por petición by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 1119," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.