Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Ramírez was born on August 27, 1939, in Tizapotla, Morelos, México; at an early age, he began working on the farm with his family; he worked as a bracero from 1960 to 1962 in Arizona and California; there he picked cotton and cut lettuce.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ramírez recalls growing up in Tizapotla, Morelos, México, and working from an early age on a farm; he remembers attending school to the third grade; later, he relates how he heard about the Bracero Program from men who went to the United States during the first years of the program; he joined the program in 1960, and describes the hiring process he went through in Empalme, Sonora, México; additionally, he details discrimination braceros suffered in Empalme and in the U.S.; he highlights how they were kicked out of church services, and how priest set up mass in Spanish for them; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona and California until 1962; he describes that during this time he picked cotton and cut lettuce; he expresses what daily life was like for him in the camps, and the work he had to perform; after the program was terminated, he states that he returned to the U.S. in 1973 as an undocumented worker; he explains how he crossed the border, and the work he did in Chicago; in 1980, he relates that he returned to México and decided not to go back to the U.S.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with José Ramírez Solano by Violeta Domínguez, 2003, "Interview no. 1056," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.