Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Saul Ponce was born on October 4, 1928, in Valle de Zaragoza, Chihuahua, México; he had four siblings, and his brother was also a bracero; from his hometown in Valle de Zaragoza, he was transported to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México to be contracted as a bracero; he enlisted in the hopes of helping his family financially; as a bracero, he worked in Montana, picking beets and cotton, cleaning corn, and milking cows; he was ultimately able to legalize residency for himself, his wife, and his children.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ponce very briefly discusses his family and childhood; as a young man, he decided to enlist in the bracero program in order to help his family financially; from his hometown in Valle de Zaragoza, Chihuahua, México, he was transported to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, where he obtained his first bracero contract; he was then transferred to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, and then taken to his worksite by plane; as a bracero, he worked in Montana, picking beets and cotton, cleaning corn, and milking cows; he and his brother were fortunate enough to live and work together while in Montana; there was an incident in which his brother was harassed by people not associated with program, but there were no other apparent tensions; he goes on to describe his living and working conditions, provisions, and remittances; because he could not read or write very well, he paid people, with money or favors, to write letters to his wife; she made money at home in México as a seamstress; he was ultimately able to legalize residency for himself, his wife, and his children.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Saul Ponce by Violeta Mena, 2005, "Interview no. 1092," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.