Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Agustín González was born on August 28, 1928, in Pueblo Nuevo, Durango, Mexico; he had thirteen siblings; the spreading rumors of first time braceros making a substantial amount of money along with his brother’s insistence led him to enroll in the program in 1943; he worked in California and Texas, picking cotton, lemons, and oranges.
Summary of Interview
Mr. González briefly recalls his family, childhood, and early adolescence; the spreading rumors of first time braceros making a substantial amount of money aroused his curiosity in the Bracero Program; in 1943, he and one of his brothers enrolled in the program; together they went through the contracting center in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México; he describes the official documents that were required, the humiliating medical exams they underwent, and how some of the men suffered from cold and hunger while waiting outside of the center; the guards at the center were also particularly cruel and even killed some of the men; from the center in Chihuahua, he and his brother were transported to the reception center in El Paso, Texas, by trains in cattle cars; as a bracero, he worked in California and Texas, picking cotton, lemons, and oranges; he goes on to describe what daily life was like on the farms, including work, wages, contracts, housing, food, weekend outings, and the relationships between the braceros and their American employers; in addition, he comments that he and other braceros were often discriminated against by Mexican-Americans; he concludes that his memories of the program are both happy and sad, but even so, he is proud to have been a bracero.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Agustín González Flores by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1004," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.