Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Ramón Bravo García was born on March 27, 1927, in Pénjamo, Guanajuato, Mexico; he was raised in Baja California, Mexico; he began working at a very young age and consequently received very little schooling; in 1948, he became a bracero and worked primarily in the asparagus, chili, cucumber, squash, celery and tomato fields of California; he and his wife had seven children; his last bracero contract was in 1949.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ramón Bravo García briefly recalls his childhood; his parents relocated to Baja California, Mexico to work in the agricultural fields; he recalls going through the contracting center of Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; his first contract took him to work in the asparagus fields of Stockton, California; he did not complete the contract; in 1948, he married a childhood acquaintance; shortly thereafter, he obtained his second bracero contract in Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico; he describes the medical exams and required documents; as part of the process, he was stripped and deloused, which he found humiliating; his second contract took him to work in the tomato fields of Modesto, California; he recalls that his Filipino coworkers were fluent in Spanish; he details the camp size, living conditions, duties, payments, treatment, and recreational activities; he traveled to Mexico every two months in order to give his family money; he earned ninety cents an hour while working in northern California; he was paid sixty cents per basket of produce while working in the valley of California; he was paid an additional two cents for every basket that he loaded onto the cargo trucks; he explains that there were many workers and that made it difficult to earn money while working in the Valley; he worked six hours a day; many braceros did their laundry on their days off; after the bracero program ended, he returned to the United States as an undocumented worker; he traveled to Sacramento, California where we worked in the pecan groves; he did not arrange for residency; at the time of the interview, Mr. Ramón García was living in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
GMR Transcription Services
Interview with Ramón Bravo García by Mónica Pelayo, 2006, "Interview no. 1323," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.