Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Audelia Bentura Cortéz was born in November of 1930, on the Isla de Janitzio, Michoacán, México; she was the eldest of her eight sisters and five brothers, but only six sisters and one brother are living; her parents were fishermen; she was never formally educated, but she did learn how to run a household; she eventually married, and her husband later enlisted in the bracero program, with one of her brothers; they labored in the fields of Texas; Audelia and her husband went on to have eleven children, two of whom died; her husband later died at the age of fifty-five in an automobile accident.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Bentura describes what her life was like growing up; her family was very poor, and they suffered greatly; she briefly recounts her courtship with her husband and how he asked for her hand in marriage with his parents, who were also fishermen; after Audelia married she went to live with her in-laws; she helped her mother-in-law with household chores, including preparing meals for the family and the help and cleaning the fish; after eight years of marriage and four children, her husband enlisted in the bracero program, with one of her brothers; they labored in the fields of Texas; Audelia’s eldest son, who was twelve at the time, helped support the family while his father was gone; her husband sent money home when he could; when he returned he brought gifts of clothes, and the family even bought a small canoe; Audelia and her husband went on to have eleven children, two of whom died; she explains that when her husband came back home, he began drinking heavily; in spite of his attempts at rehabilitation, he could not quit; he later died at the age of fifty-five after getting hit by a car.
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Interview with Audelia Bentura Cortéz by Mireya Loza, 2008, "Interview No. 1429," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.