Sam Sanchez


Richard Baquera


Bracero Oral History Project

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Sam Sanchez was born on April 5, 1936, in San Elizario, Texas; he had twelve siblings, and his father was a farmer; upon graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps; when he finished his tour of duty in 1959, he began working at Rio Vista, a processing center for braceros in Socorro, Texas; he continued working there until 1964.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Sanchez recalls his childhood and early adolescence; he would often work in the fields with his father picking cotton; during the early years of World War II, Italian POWs and undocumented workers often helped with the harvesting of the cotton as well; he recalls missing the first two or so months of school to help with the crops; in addition, he also recounts how he would often go to Rio Vista, a processing center for braceros in Socorro, Texas, to pick up food slops from the mess hall for his father’s pigs; later, when he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Marines; when his tour of duty was over in 1959, he began working at Rio Vista as a part-time security guard at night; he was later contracted through the Public Health Office for continued employment at Rio Vista; his primary responsibility was to draw blood samples from braceros; eventually, he moved to what was referred to as the selection area where the farmers or contractors would pick which braceros they wanted to hire; he recalls that many of the braceros refused to work in Pecos, Texas, because so many bad things happened there. Length

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

53 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1570

Transcript Number

No. 1570

Length of Transcript

21 pages

Interview Number

No. 1570

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