Isidoro Ramírez


Steve Velásquez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Isidoro Ramírez was born on April 4, 1935, in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, México; he is one of thirteen siblings; at an early age, he began working in agriculture; in 1956, he joined the Bracero Program; he worked in California picking tomatoes.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Ramírez recalls growing up in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, México, and attending formal schooling for a brief period; he states that his parents worked in agriculture, and that he began laboring with them at an early age; additionally, he remembers hearing about the Bracero Program from men who had returned from the Unites States, and deciding to enlist at age twenty-one; he details his experience in the contracting center of Empalme, Sonora, México, how he had to wait three weeks to sign his contract, and the humiliation of the medical exams; furthermore, he describes his trip to the border, and the process he went through at the reception center in El Centro, California; he worked in California picking tomatoes; moreover, he explains that once they arrived at the reception center, they were picked by foremen as if they were cattle; he continues to outline what daily life was like on the farms, what braceros did during their time off, and where they lived; while discussing his work, he expressed that while he waited for new contracts to be assigned, he would go to San Francisco to work as a garbage man; he concludes by stating that his memories of the program are very negative, and that he suffered much abuse, and a low standard of living while working as a bracero.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

43 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1116

Transcript Number

No. 1116

Length of Transcript

15 pages

Interview Number

No. 1116

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.