Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Eduardo De Santiago was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, México; he had seven sisters and only one brother; his father took him out of school when he was in third grade because he needed help working the land; he worked as a bracero form 1954 to 1960; while a bracero he was promoted to ranch foreman.
Summary of Interview
Mr. De Santiago worked on a ranch in Zacatecas, México, prior to becoming a bracero; in 1954, when he learned of the Bracero Program, he made a list of all the people who worked with him that wanted to go to the United States as braceros; he was of course included on that list; upon beginning the hiring process in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, the braceros were asked to undress for physical examinations; they were then vaccinated and deloused; in Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, ranchers from Pecos, Texas, came to hire braceros; none of the workers wanted to go with them because they had heard about a number of bad experiences there; Mr. De Santiago worked primarily in the cotton fields of Texas; he recalls how many braceros would use tricks to weigh down their cotton in order to get paid more; over time, he was promoted to head foreman of the ranch where he worked; he worked as a bracero from 1954 to 1960.
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Interview with Eduardo De Santiago by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 1125," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.