Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Tomás Zapata Castañeda was born in Ejido el Faro, Chihuahua, México in 1937; although he did help his father in the fields, he also went to school; in 1956, he was hired as a bracero at the age on nineteen; he worked as a bracero in Texas, Montana, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Zapata was hired as a bracero in 1956; his first work contract took him to New Mexico, where due to the rain, he was unable to work; in the various places he went, he worked in the cotton and beet fields; he recalls that the braceros would use signs to communicate with the ranchers; in Colorado, he was able to earn $12.00 per acre that he worked; he also recalls that during the month of December, work contracts were given for three months at a time, whereas during the month of May, work contracts were given for forty-five days at a time.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Tomás Zapata Castañeda by Myrna Parra-Mantilla, 2003, "Interview no. 990," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.