Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Norberto Mata Baylón was born in Coyame, Chihuahua, México, in 1934; he worked in a candle factory when he was only twelve years old, and consequently, had to hide from the boss; in 1956, he went to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, to begin the hiring process; he renewed his work contract seven times; he worked in the cotton fields of Artesia, New Mexico and Dell City, Pecos, and Olton, Texas; he also worked in the beet fields of Montana.
Summary of Interview
When Mr. Baylón was only sixteen years old, he worked in the United States illegally; in order to cross into the United States, he walked through the mountains, which took him an entire day to do; in 1956, he went to El Trocadero, a processing center in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, to begin the hiring process; he paid the security officer in order to get a good place in line while waiting to be hired; in Pecos, Texas, he had very bad experiences because the wages were too low and there was too much work to be done; in addition, there were a lot of snakes; when he and a group of other braceros were sent to Olton, Texas, there were no jobs; they had to beg for food for two days.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Interview with Noberto Mata Baylón by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 979," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.