Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
Garcia has lived and worked in El Paso, Texas. She mentioned that poverty in Mexico is worse than the poverty in the United States. Garcia left Mexico 5 years ago to get a better life in the USA. She left her children with her mother and got on the train to get to El Paso, Texas. She first arrived to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and stayed with a family during a couple of weeks, while she gathered her papers to get a passport. After she got her passport she went to El Paso and started working and sending money back to Mexico to her children.
Her first job in El Paso was at a bakery. While working there she met her future husband to which she had 2 children with. During that time, she lived in Ciudad Juarez and used to cross the border every day to be able to go to work. After a couple of years, she moved to El Paso, Texas with her husband near Oregon St to a little apartment that was on top of a bar. Garcia and her husband then moved to a house near Paisano which is her house right now.
Garcia’s husband started to show symptoms of diabetes, which led him to quit work. He then applied for his social security check and he got a little money to help his household. Garcia then started to work at Farah and brought her children and mother to live with her. Her mother would take care of her children while Garcia was at work in Farah. She mentioned that her two older children were really good and responsible, but his middle child was very rebellious and had several problems with him and his attitude. Garcia mentioned that the gangs would try to get young children to join the gang and that is what happened with her middle child. He then got out and tried to get better from his addictions to the things he consumed while he was with the gang. All of Garcia’s children attended school except him which only finish up to middle school.
Now his older child has a good job as a plumber and a beautiful family. Her older daughter also finished school and worked at Farah for a little bit, until she got a better job and now has a good life. She would tell Garcia that she didn’t know how she manage to work at Farah with those working conditions. Her daughter only lasted one month at Farah before she left to find a better job. On the other hand, her older son which is the one that now has a family, also worked at Farah for like a year and he hated every moment of it, but that was the only job he could get in while still studying. He then graduated and left Farah, but Garcia still worked at Farah.
Garcia loves being in the United States, she feels so much safer here than in Mexico. She mentioned that back in Mexico she would be scared to even walk on the street alone or go anywhere after 7 pm. She mentioned that in her time in Mexico she attended school up to fourth grade, until she started to work in a little convenience store to help her mother. While her time in school she learned basic math, history, reading, and writing. She also learned to save money and no budget, since poverty was the biggest problem in her family and overall, in Mexico.
Regarding Farah, Garcia worked there for many years. She noticed and suffer from many unjust things and treatment from the company, but she just ignores them and did her work to receive her paycheck. Her motivation to keep going was her family. She would work about 8 hours a day and she would get home very tired every day, but she was grateful to have her mother there to help her with her children. When the strike began, she was leaving the company, but before leaving she appear in a documentary about the strike, which she has a copy about.
Garcia had a hard time in the United States and in Farah, but she 100% preferred to be in the United States struggling than in Mexico. She described Mexico as a place where you would never get out of poverty and the United States as a country of opportunities where you could actually get out of poverty and live a decent life. She now loves the life she lived in the USA.
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Interview with Garcia by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1765," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.
Andrea Santos transcribed the coversheet of the interview. There is no transcription of the interview.