María S. Reyes

Interview in Spanish. Interviewee addressed as María Soledad Herrera de Reyes.

Summary of Interview

Ms. Herrera de Reyes talks about her family and growing up in her half brother’s home; she was raised with several half siblings, and her mother cared for all of them; when María was still a baby, her father enlisted in the bracero program; while he was gone her mother sold tortillas and worked as a seamstress to supplement their income; María also recalls her day-to-day life with her mother and grandfather; upon her father’s return, he brought his wife and daughters undergarments from the United States, but his wife did not like them; he also bought a lot of groceries once in México to take home to his family; oftentimes, he shared stories with María about his experiences; he told her about the time he came looking for work in the United States and nearly died, because he was lost in the desert for three days; after he obtained a bracero contract, he suffered greatly when he was stripped and deloused like an animal; despite what he endured, he was still fond of several American customs; for instance, he preferred for his wife and daughters to wear pants instead of dresses; in addition, he frequently cooked at home and even showed his wife how to make flour tortillas; when he spoke in English, María thought he was a very important, intelligent and modern man; after his time with the program, the family moved to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, where she was formally educated; María eventually married and immigrated to the United States; she and her husband settled in Arizona to raise their family.