Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Francisco Plascencia Sandoval was born on October 19, 1922, in Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico; his parents worked on a farm; he had ten siblings; as a young boy, he helped his family by working in the fields; his father lived and worked in the United States while Mr. Francisco Palascencia Sandoval was a child; at the age of eighteen, he moved to San Luis Potosi, Mexico; he later immigrated to the United States illegally; in 1954, he decided to enroll in the bracero Program; as a bracero, he worked primarily in the fields of California; he married and had six children; he was ultimately able to arrange for residency.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Plascencia Sandoval briefly recalls his hometown and working in agriculture while growing up; he recalls that there were no schools in his hometown, so consequently he did not receive any formal education; he talks about his father working in the mines of Arizona; in 1954, he decided to enlist in the bracero program and went through the contracting center in Mexicali; as part of the process, he was medically examined and deloused; he recalls that one of the requirements for the braceros was to have calloused hands; some of the men would burn their hands in order to meet the requirement; his first contract took him to work in Imperial Valley, California; he recalls working with a short-handled hoe while weeding in the cotton and beet fields; he talks about having made more money as an undocumented worker than he did while working as a bracero; he goes on to detail the living conditions, provisions, payments, remittances, treatment, friendships, correspondence, and recreational activities; although he did suffer as a bracero, his overall memories of the program are positive.
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Interview with Francisco Plascencia Sandoval by Alma Carrillo, 2006, "Interview no. 1309," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.