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.
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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.