Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
Tarangos fathers’ parents were from Mexico and they passed away when she was very little. She never got to meet them. Her grandparent where from Leon Guanajuato, Mexico as well as his dad. Tarango mentioned that most of his family on her dads’ side were shoe makers back in Mexico, which was all he talked about to Tarango about. Sometimes he would talk about God or the Bible, but mostly about the shoe repair shop they had in Mexico. When Tarango’s dad came to the United States in the 1911 and he didn’t know English very well, but he managed to learned and became fluent in English in a short period of time. Once he began his life in the United States, he promised himself to never go back to Mexico since nothing good happened to him over there. He would sometimes contact his sister by mail and after a couples of years later she passed away, but he didn’t get the news until a couple of days later when the mail arrived with the news about his sister.
One of his first jobs here in the United States was in a gold mine near New Mexico. During his work week he broke a knee while working and every doctor told him that his leg would have to be amputated. One of the managers of the mine heard this news and decided to help him to find a new solution so that his leg wouldn’t get amputated. He then found a doctor that was able to help him and he didn’t get his leg amputated, but that leg became a little shorter than the other one. Tarango mentioned that his dad was maybe part of one of the labor organizations because he would always stand up for himself and cared a lot about others and his rights. After his accident, he was hospitalized for a while until he got out and decided to move to El Paso, Texas.
Tarangos dad married a couple of times in his lifetime. She mentioned that her mother was his dad third marriage. Tarango has two half-brothers from some of his dad past marriages and she had 4 siblings of his mom and dad. Her mother was from Marfa, Texas and came from a family of cowboys who would sell cattle. Her grandmother from her mother’s side was originally from Mexico, but came to the United States and met his husband over here, which is Tarangos grandfather. Her mother got married twice back in Mexico and had 2 kids in those relationships, after she got divorced that’s when she came to the United States and met his third and last husband.
After his parents got married, they lived in the alley behind El Paso St. and it was in that house that Tarango was born. That house is now a building full of offices. After that house was sold, they moved to a house near Mesa St. where her 3 other siblings were born at. Tarango mentioned that she would take care of her younger siblings some days of the week, because she really enjoyed caring about them and acting like the mom. During her childhood Tarango was raised with the catholic bible and would go every Sunday to church. His dad on the other hand was not catholic, but he didn’t mind that his family was catholic. When she was not taking care for of his siblings or praying, she would play with her toys. After a couple of years she started school and had a good time, but she soon start to didn’t like it and became a little of a rebell so she got taken out of school.
His father used to work for the city of El Paso, until he got layoff and decided to go and find a job at Farah. His daughter Taranga already worked at Farah at that time. Tarango mentioned that there were not many jobs that you could get when you didn’t have any sort of education which she did not have. Farah was the only place that would hire people without any experience or education, so she applied and got the job even though her husband didn’t want her to start working for that company for all the bad things people say that happened to them while working there. Tarango didn’t listen to him an decided to start working to be able to sustain herself and her family, because it was getting very difficult to live with only one form of income in the house. While she was working, she had some friends or family taking care of her children. Tarango mentioned that she would leave food in the fridge and everything ready so that the person who was going to take care of them wouldn’t have so much to do except for taking care of the kids.
Taranga mentioned that one day going into work the Farah Strike began, she decided to be an ally because some of her coworkers had very bad experiences working with Farah. That morning she decided to wore a pin that said something about the strike and one of his supervisors asked her what did he ever do to her and she just replied that she was an ally to her coworkers. Tarango mentioned that many people from Juarez would go to work at Farah no matter the work or the conditions, but they were willing to do anything just to be able to earn US dollars. Tarango didn’t have an awful time at Farah, but it also wasn’t the job of her dreams. She mentioned that it was just a job and she deal with it, while being an ally to the strike.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
1 hour, 14 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Tarango by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1777," 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.