Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Jose B. Sanchez was born in San Miguel Epeja, Michoacán, México, on April 8, 1926; his parents worked in agriculture and masonry; he had twelve siblings; at age 13, he left home and worked throughout México in agriculture; he joined the bracero program in 1953, and worked in Arizona and California picking cotton, lettuce, and melons; his last year as a bracero was in 1963; he returned to the United States when amnesty was offered, and is now a resident of the country.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Sanchez remembers growing up in San Miguel Epeja, Michoacán, México, and leaving home when he was thirteen years old because his father was very rough; he recalls working in agriculture throughout México; in 1953, he recounts how he was contracted in Gómez Palacio, Durango, México, the process he went through, and his trip to the border; furthermore, he describes crossing into the United States, and the medical exams he endured; he worked in Arizona and California picking cotton, lettuce, and melons; his last year as a bracero was in 1963; moreover, he states what the housing they received was like, what food they were given, and the work that they did; he relates what they did for entertainment, and a time when policemen went to the farm to search for women that had been taken to a dance by braceros; additionally, he explains how he was paid, and how he renewed his contracts by picking cotton in México and getting contracted again in Empalme, Sonora, México; he states that he became a resident when amnesty was offered, and concludes by stating that he feels good about having been a bracero, because it allowed him to put food on the table.
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Jose B. Sanchez by Verónica Córtez, 2006, "Interview no. 1198," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.