Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ramon Flores Gonzales was born in Juquillo, Jaliso México, on July 10, 1935; he grew up in an agricultural family with four brothers and two sisters; from age five he worked in agriculture; he joined the bracero program in 1956, and worked in California until 1960; there her picked carrots, cotton, and watermelon.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Flores Gonzales remembers growing up in Juquillo, Jalisco, México, and having to work from the age of five; he recalls hearing about the bracero program from his brother who worked in Blythe, California; in 1956, he joined the bracero program and worked in California until 1960 picking carrots, cotton, and watermelon; he relates what it was like to be contracted in Empalme, Sonora, México, the process they went through, the papers he needed, and the brief medical exams they received; furthermore, he describes his bus ride to Mexicali, Baja California, México, and how the contracts were created in El Centro, California; he continues to describe his work at the Imperial Valle in California, the pay he received, their daily schedule, and difficulty of the work; moreover, he recounts how they did not have electricity in their barracks, nor bathrooms; he also explains how he asked to be moved to Blythe, California so he could be closer to his brother, and how hard it was to get the move; additionally, he discusses that he sent money to his family in México, and that he was very proud that he could help them in that way; he learned to read and write as a bracero, and later was able to secure his residency; overall, he feels that the bracero program made him suffer many injustices, but that he is happy to have been able to better his life and the lives of his family.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Ramon Flores Gonzales by Anais Acosta, 2006, "Interview no. 1189," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.