Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Higinio López was born January 11, 1926, in Calvillo, Aguascalientes, México; his mother’s name was Félix Silva, and his father’s name was Sixto López; Higinio had five brothers and two sisters; his formal education extended through the fourth grade; he worked in the United States without proper documentation for roughly three years; during the early 1950s, he married and shortly after enlisted in the bracero program; as a bracero, he labored in the fields cleaning, pruning and picking various crops; in 1961, his employer helped him legally immigrate to the United States; Higinio helped his wife and two children do the same; he and his wife went on to have five more children.
Summary of Interview
Mr. López talks about his family and what his life was like growing up on a ranch; in 1947, he came to work in the United States without proper documentation; after three years, immigration officials sent him back to México; during the early 1950s, he married and started raising a family; by the time he enlisted in the bracero program he had two children; he went through the contracting center in Irapuato, Guanajuato, México; oftentimes, he went with groups of other men so the process would not be as bad; even so, he describes crossing into the United States as very difficult and sad, especially the fumigation procedures; as a bracero, he labored in the fields cleaning, pruning and picking various crops; he goes on to detail camp sizes, housing, provisions, routines, payments, deductions, remittances, correspondence, contract lengths and renewals and recreational activities, including trips into town; for a time, he worked with one of his brothers; Higinio relates the story of how his twenty-seven year old brother died in an accident with a crop dusting airplane; his employers waited for fifteen days to bury him, because they wanted his father to see him; he was eventually laid to rest in Brawley, California; in 1961, his employer helped him legally immigrate to the United States; Higinio helped his wife and two children do the same; he and his wife went on to have five more children; overall, he has positive memories of having worked with the program.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Higinio López by Grisel Murillo, 2006, "Interview no. 1068," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.