Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
In 1924, Christina Paredes worked at Farah for 35 years in San Antonio St. Christina recalls the work environment not being all positive during her years at Farah. Christina mentions that they were strict with hiring people and the process like taking their birth certificate; you had to be 17 or 18 years old and could not be older than that or else they would not hire them. Christina also said that they would encourage people to bring their families and work as well.
Christina Paredes then goes on and talks about people she remembers, like her friend Carmen who was told that could never have a baby and had a baby boy. However, Christina also mention Jaime Saldano, the man who organized the union, and talked to the workers about how they were not getting enough wages to afford food necessities. Christina recalls herself and another man volunteering to go on strike with Jaime Saldano and went to groceries store and ask for food themselves, but were not successful and were turned away so they decided to go to the Food Stamps office on Alameda, where a man gave them 100 watermelons, 20 bags of potatoes. And a big company that Christina mentioned also gave them Winnies and other products she was not clear about, but Christina did mention that They received baby food ,and baby formula, and were told “take all you need” by Mitch and Abraham. Nevertheless they did not stop there and went to a tortilleria were the man gave them like 20 pounds of tortillas, and also tamales and juice.
Christina also remember many people started complain about the strikers and that their cars have been vandalized, but the union had told the people to handle the situation and strikes with no violence. Christina remember one of the people she worked with by the name of Consuelo, she describes Consuelo as the most beautiful girl she had ever seen, but unfortunately, she had leukemia. Christina goes on to mention that Consuelo’s parents encouraged Consuelo to go on strike and experience new things and enjoy herself. According to Christina, Consuelo was friends with the women that did the hunger strike on Paisano, and Cesar Chavez even came over to visit the girl on the hunger strike for 17 days. However, the story does not stop there; Christina mentioned that one of the Farah women drove her car over the woman on the hunger strike while she was sleeping.
Christina then goes on and states that Farah did not care about firing people, and blamed the union for the problems. Other companies were taking notice of the situation Farah was in and questioned their tactics as well. Christina states that she gained courage and fearlessness from her experience with Farah, the union, and the strikes. Moreover, Christina said she wants her children to be determined and achieve all the great things they set their minds to do, and receive a great education.
Christina talks about her family, about her mother, and religion. Christina mentions that her view on religion changed in a way that she never thought she could ask for something, but she realized that she can and her experiences with religion made her open her eyes and heart even more.
Christina reflects on the hardships she went through and the comments from people calling her a liar, but she stood by she believes is the right thing to do. Lastly, Christina talks about her marriage, life with her family, and her divorce. In conclusion, Christina Paredes’s interview about Farah is interesting and full of details.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
2 hours, 7 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Christina Paredes by Institute of Oral History, 1977, "Interview no. 1767," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.
The first 35 minutes of the interview are static and much noise in the background could not understand what Christina was saying for the first 40 minutes of the interview.
Priscilla Chavira transcribed the coversheet of the interview. There is no transcription of the interview.