Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Jesus G. Varela was born in Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico, on March 28, 1914; His father and his uncle were founders of the town; He worked with his father in the field since he was seven years old; Varela worked in Mexico as a carpenter and blacksmith; Varela worked as a bracero picking apples and peas in Idaho and Arizona. He received his American residency when he married in 1950.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Varela started working with his father doing agricultural work and caring for animals. He got a job with a friend of his father learning carpentry and blacksmithing earning $0.40 per week. Mr. Varela found out about the bracero program listening to the radio in the town of Guadalupe Victoria. He traveled to Durango, Mexico to get hired in the bracero program when he was eighteen. With only $200 pesos Varela traveled on train to Guanajuato, Mexico. The next destination was El Paso, Texas where the authorities made another revision before continuing the journey to Caldwell, Idaho. Varela worked picking beets. In his free time he played baseball with professional players, creating great friendships and making baseball a hobby in his life as a bracero. Thanks to the friendships he created with his boss, he renewed the contract for other friends and for himself. Varela got hired again for the last time and worked watering plants in Phoenix. He received the American residency by getting married in 1950 with his girlfriend with whom he had dating since 1946.
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Interview with Jesus G. Varela by Alejandra Díaz, 2008, "Interview no. 1383," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.