Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Amelia Mandarín Ramos was born on June 23, 1947, in San Pedro Ixtlahuaca, Oaxaca, México; she had a younger brother, but he passed away; her father worked in the fields planting beans and corn; when she was very young, her father enlisted in the bracero program; by the time he stopped obtaining bracero contracts, she was roughly fourteen years old; Amelia later married, and she went on to have two children, one boy and one girl.
Summary of Interview
Ms. Mandarín describes the community of in San Pedro Ixtlahuaca, Oaxaca, México, where she grew up; they were all very poor; she recalls the women making and selling tortillas, while the men worked in the fields; when she was very young, her father enlisted in the bracero program; she remembers crying a lot while he was gone and missing him terribly; she and her mother anxiously awaited to hear from him through letters; they waited for a long time, because he spent a while getting processed in México before arriving in the United States; while he was gone, she frequently went hungry, because the money her mother made from selling tortillas was not enough; Amelia even had to go to neighboring areas of land to get food from there to survive; her younger brother eventually passed away; by the time her father stopped obtaining bracero contracts, she was roughly fourteen years old; oftentimes, he would tell her stories about his experiences as a bracero and how much he suffered; she recalls that he mentioned being stripped and fumigated while getting processed; Amelia later married, and she went on to have two children, one boy and one girl; she also mentions fighting for bracero compensations on her father’s behalf and her subsequent travel.
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Interview with Amelia Mandarín Ramos by Mireya Loza, 2008, "Interview no. 1440," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.