Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Emilio Solís Pallares was born in 1923, in San Miguel Chihuahua, México; his father died when he was eleven years old, and he had to start working in order to help support his family; he was the only one of five siblings to stay with his mother after his father’s death; in 1947, he began working as a bracero, and continued working as such until 1962.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Solís briefly recalls his childhood; after his father’s death, he began working in the fields when he was only eleven years old; he continued working in agriculture throughout his adolescence and young adulthood; in 1943, financial difficulties coupled with a shortage of work led him to the United States to work illegally; he had great difficulties while working in the U.S. because he was often caught by immigration; although by this point he had learned of the Bracero Program, he could not afford to go to Chihuahua, Chihuahua to begin the hiring process; in 1947, he was finally able to afford the trip to Chihuahua in order to enroll in the Bracero Program; the following year, in 1948, he comments that they were not allowed to work as braceros; he recalls that in 1949, the El Paso County Coliseum was used as a reception center for incoming workers; he worked on and off as a bracero from 1947 to 1962.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

40 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1141

Transcript Number

No. 1141

Length of Transcript

20 pages

Interview Number

No. 1141

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.