Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Severiano G. Villarreal was born on January 8, 1931, in Saguaripa, Sonora, México; his father married twice, and he was one of five brothers; he worked in Yuma, Arizona as an undocumented worker from 1951 to 1954 when his boss helped him become a bracero; he worked with him planting and growing trees until 1961; in 1962 he became a resident of the U.S.; in 1979, he arranged for his family to get residency.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Villarreal remembers growing up in Saguaripa, Sonora, México; he states that his father worked in agriculture, and after his death, he had to find work in the U.S.; he recounts that he worked in Yuma, Arizona planting and growing trees as an undocumented worker from 1951 to 1954; in 1954, his boss helped him become a bracero, and he worked for him until 1961; moreover, he recalls that he did not go to contracting centers in México, because he was contracted as a special bracero in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, México through the La Asociación, a group in charge of braceros in El Centro, California; he explains what the process at El Centro was like, how they conducted medical exams, and fumigated them in the nude; furthermore, he states that some braceros got injections; he relates what his life was like on the farm, the work he did, how they were paid, and the treatment he received; additionally, he describes living arrangements, what they cooked, and how they washed their clothes by hand; he also explains that his family lived about thirty minutes away in Sonora, México, so he would return home on weekends; in 1962, he became a resident of the United States, and in 1979, he arranged for his family to get residency as well.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Severiano G. Villarreal by Verónica Cortés, 2006, "Interview no. 1201," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.