Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ramona Acosta was born on October 13, 1928, in Phoenix, Arizona; her parents migrated to the United States illegally, where they had three children, of which Ramona was the eldest; when she was roughly five years old, her father was deported, and as a result, they all moved to México, where the family continued to grow; eight years later, Ramona returned to the United States, and shortly thereafter she started working in the fields alongside braceros; consequently, some of her cousins were braceros as well.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Acosta vividly describes her family and childhood; when she was roughly five years old, her father was deported, and as a result, the family moved to México; eight years later, Ramona returned to the United States at the bidding of her maternal grandparents; shortly thereafter, she started working in order to help support her family, including her parents, who were still in México; she labored in the fields picking and packing a variety of fruits and vegetables; although she had several employers, she explains that braceros and locals worked side by side; they had the same types of jobs and received the same pay and treatment; she goes on to describe the braceros as diligent, respectful, and amicable; consequently, there were a number of women who also worked in the fields, and they completed all the same tasks as the men; she also talks about her three cousins, who were braceros, and how their employers helped them immigrate to the United States; moreover, she details spending time with the braceros on weekends in stores, at the drive-in movies, or just listening to music and talking; in addition, she also discusses an incident where a group of braceros were driving into town on a bus, and it crashed, resulting in a large number of men dying; it was difficult to gauge the reactions of other braceros and workers, because at the time, radio and television were not used as a means of mass communication; therefore, many of the men’s bodies remain unclaimed, and they were buried in unnamed tombs; she concludes by stating that the bracero program had a positive affect on the city, in general, and on the nation as a whole.
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Interview with Ramona Acosta by Alejandra Díaz, 2008, "Interview no. 1327," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.