Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Mr. XX was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, México, in 1930; he received a formal education through middle school; in 1951, the Bracero Program was very popular in his home state of Zacatecas, which is why, at the age of twenty, he decided to become a bracero; he worked in the program for eight years in Pecos, Texas.

Summary of Interview

Mr. XX was hired as a bracero at a recruiting center in Zacatecas, México; he recalls that there were also other recruitment centers in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Aguascalientes in México; there were two types of braceros, specialized and common; the specialized braceros were hired for eighteen months and received higher salaries; the common braceros were hired for only three months at a time; he worked as a specialized bracero weighing cotton; his job was to make sure that the cotton was not mixed with rocks, wood, or any other objects that would make the cotton weigh more; because the braceros were paid per pound of cotton that they picked, this was a major concern; he also recalls that in order for grocery stores to gain and keep braceros as clients, they would go out to the farms to pick up grocery lists; the groceries would then be delivered to the braceros.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

54 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1119

Transcript Number

No. 1119

Length of Transcript

27 pages

Interview Number

No. 1119

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.