Institute of Oral History
Summary of Interview
Del Palacio was a worker at Farah during the 1970’s. She first started to work for the company when the working conditions were not as bad. Soon things in the company starting to go South. Her quota became higher and higher every week and she was not able to meet the quota many times. Her boss didn’t care if it was literally impossible to complete that many tasks in a short period of time, he just wanted the work done no matter what.
Many of the workers at Farah during that time lived in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Those workers had to cross the bridge every single day to be able to go to work. Del Palacio didn’t like the workers from Juarez, because they didn’t have to pay the monthly fee of the Union because they were not U.S. citizens, but they would still get to enjoy from the benefits of the Union. This made Del Palacio feel a sense of disrespect to the U.S. workers. Many of the workers from Mexico would never have a complain, because the money that they were doing at Farah was twice as much as the money they would earn at any other place in Mexico. Del Palacio knew that working at Farah and living in El Paso was not right since everything was expensive, but working at Farah and living in Mexico was great for those workers and their families since the US Dollar was word a lot more than the Mexican Peso.
Regarding her family, Del Palacios parents came to the United States after they got married when they were sixteen years old. She has three older brothers and four younger sisters. During her childhood her dad would work a lot and her mom would clean houses for a living. They had a very difficult time when they first move here because they didn’t know anyone in the United States and they had no work experience over here. A couple of years later Del Palacio’s father passed away. Her family had a very difficult couple of years after his passing due to money, now they only had one income in the household and not two like they used to.
A couple of years later her older brothers went to start working and her and her sisters were taken to school by her mother. She mentioned that she didn’t like going to school or doing homework so she dropped from school when she was twelve years old. Her sisters stayed in school and then they got married a very young. Del Palacio mentioned that they are still married and that at the time they got married, Del Palacio had to stay with her mother most days because she was the only one not married from the sisters. A couple of years later Del Palacio decided to became a nun so she went to a convent to start preparing. She described her days as very long and exhausting. Most of the other girls there were the same as her when it came to going to school and they were also a lot of girls from Mexico.
She then left the convent and started to work because her mother didn’t have any money and her other sibling where already married and living their own lives. She then met a man and got married to him. She soon after start to work for Farah and that’s how she became part of the strike at the last years of the company.
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Interview with Del Palacio by Institute of Oral History, 2023, "Interview no. 1779," 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.