Vicente Ramírez


Steve Velásquez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Vicente Ramírez was born on April 5, 1930, in Santa Rosa de Juárez, Oaxaca, México; he had two siblings; he was formally educated through the first grade; he had to support his family because his father died when Mr. Ramírez was very young; he worked in agriculture and later he worked in home construction; in 1955 he was living in Oaxaca when he heard about the bracero program; he traveled to the processing center in Empalme, Sonora, México; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of Salinas, California picking lettuce.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Ramírez briefly recalls his childhood and the financial difficulties his family endured; in 1955 he heard about a call for braceros and decided to quit his job for the chance to work in the United States; he traveled to the processing center in Empalme, Sonora, México; he details the harsh conditions he and other men endured while waiting there; in addition, he talks about how painful the physical exams were and how rudely they were conducted; as a bracero, he completed several contracts and labored in the fields of Salinas, California; he briefly details the living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, deductions, remittances, treatment, friendships, and recreational activities; he recalls that the braceros were allowed time off on 16 de septiembre; although he did suffer as a bracero, his overall memories of the program are positive; Mr. Ramírez concludes that he is very proud to be called a bracero.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

35 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1117

Transcript Number

No. 1117

Length of Transcript

20 pages

Interview Number

No. 1117

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.