Summary of Interview
Avalos grandmother is from Mexico. Her father was always on duty and her mother passed away when Avalos was four years old. After her mother passing, her grandmother adopted them and she became their mother. Avalos considers her grandmother her real mother, because she did everything for them. Avalos thanks her grandmother for everything she did for them even when she was an older woman struggling with her health. During her childhood before living with her grandmother she was at an orphanage for a couple of months. Once Avalos and her siblings went to stay with her grandmother their lives changed for the better.
Avalos grandfather worked at the cotton fields. Avalos mentioned that he would work where ever he had the opportunity to. He also helps her grandmother to raise them, until he passed away. Before this Avalos used to live with her parents which were very young to be having kids. She mentioned that his father also worked in crops because it was the only job available. Her father also joined the army and soon after return after his service. Avalos and her siblings didn’t really get along. Specially Avalos and her sister.
Her sister was really mean and not a nice person. She had children, but not even her children like her. Avalos remember that her sister children would go to Avalos to talk to her about her mother which is Avalos sister. They would complain a lot about her and mentioned what a bad mother she was. Avalos saw herself in her nieces, she remembers that she would complain a lot about her grandmother just as her nieces complain about their mother. So, Avalos understood them, but still knew her sister was not the greatest mother.
After Avalos got married, she started to look for a job and she found a job at Farah. During this time, she had a 10-month-old baby which she should leave with her neighbor to go to work. After a couple of months working at Farah Avalos got pregnant again. So, she took some time off from work and as soon as her new baby was born, she went back to work. When Avalos worked at Farah, she realized that the people in El Paso were very divided. For example, the Mexicans worked on one side of the factory and everybody else on the other side. Avalos lived for a while in Loa Angeles and she never experience anything like this over there. She mentioned that in Los Angeles no one care what your background was or anything really, but that in El Paso everyone cared about it. Avalos didn’t talk much about her situation while working at Farah, but what she did say was that the working conditions were awful and the pay even worse.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
2 hours, 6 minutes
Listen to the Interview
Interview with Avalos by Anonymous, 2023, "Interview no. 1783," 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.