Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Armando F. Salinas was born in El Paso, Texas; he explains that he grew up in Oxnard, California because of the economic opportunities available to his family; his dad worked the fields, for the Housing Authority, and eventually opened a house repair business.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Salinas began working in the fields at a young age, he picked strawberries and apricots during the summer, he was paid a dollar an hour and all his earnings were given to his parents except for five dollars; in his early teens he began seeing braceros besides family pickers in the fields; he explains that ten men would rent one room and they slept in cots; he describes their food as burritos and chips; he points out that braceros did the work American workers did not want to do such as ladder work; he explains that exploitation did occur, managers would call immigration in order to avoid paying illegal workers; he also recalls seeing braceros in the local bars and points out that prostitution was prevalent; he explains that local Anglos could not tell the difference between braceros and Mexicans; additionally; he remembers seeing Japanese labor camps but never seeing them around town; he concludes by stating that the program never left but decreased in numbers because of machinery.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Mayra L. Avila
Interview with Armando F. Salinas by Mireya Loza, 2008, "Interview No. 1587," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.