Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Raúl Hernandez was born in Vista Hermosa de Negrete Michoacán, México. He has a brother and two sisters. When he was 17 years old Raúl decided to go north to look for work. Raúl is married with five children and currently lives in California.
Summary of Interview
Raúl Hernandez was born in Vista Hermosa de Negrete, Michoacán. His parents were field laborers and from a very young age, Raúl was taken out of school and he learned to care for goats. When Raúl was a 17 year old, poor, newlywed, he decided to travel North in search of a job. Prior to entering the Bracero Program, Raúl worked in Tamaulipas and Matamoros picking cotton and corn. After entering the Bracero Program, worked picking cotton and various types of produce in Texas and California. During this time, Raúl experienced discrimination against minorities and in his case, Mexicans working in the United States. At one point Raúl had to pay a coyote $125 to cross over to the United States. At the end of the Bracero Program, Raúl decided to bring his family to the United States permanently. He appreciated the work that he was able to do, because the money earned allowed him to buy a home for his family in Mexico and eventually bring them over. Raúl is still actively involved with issues pertaining to the Bracero Program, notably the issue with money that was due to the braceros for their service. Overall he had a positive experience with the Bracero Program.
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Raúl Hernández by Susan Zamudio, 2008, "Interview no. 1402," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.