Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Anastacio Montalvo was born on January 22, 1916, in Villanueva, Zacatecas, México; he was the second of six brothers to be born; at the age of six, he began sowing corn and beans in order to help his family; in 1942, he enrolled in the Bracero Program using someone else’s name.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Montalvo briefly recalls his childhood and the Cristero War, which took place during that time; later, in 1942, he began the hiring process for the Bracero Program in Querétaro, México, using someone else’s name; while there, he was medically examined and then sent to the border by train; upon arriving at the reception center, he and other braceros saw movies that gave them information regarding their rights and obligations; he describes his first job in the United States, which was hammering the rail road tracks in California, and his second job, which was picking cotton in Texas; in addition, he also explains what the living and sleeping arrangements were like, what they were given to cook and eat, what their hobbies were, and what they did on weekends and in their spare time; he would periodically send money to his family in México; after the Bracero Program ended, he was illegally hired in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, by an American rancher who took him to work in New Mexico, where he consequently spent the next four years; he finally returned to México, and has remained there ever since.
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Interview with Anastacio Montalvo by Laureano Martinez, 2003, "Interview no. 1135," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.