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.
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Interview with Ramón Bravo García by Mónica Pelayo, 2006, "Interview no. 1323," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.