Manuel Vazquez


Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Manuel Vazquez was born in Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua, México, on October 23, 1928; when he was seven years old, he began helping his father work in the fields, and consequently he never received any formal education; in 1942, he and his brother went to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and crossed into the United States illegally, but he could not work because he was too young; later, in 1945, he became a bracero and worked in the cotton fields of Texas.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Vazquez briefly recalls his childhood; in 1945, he was hired as a bracero, and taken to work in El Paso, Texas; the only requirement for him to work was his Mexican military I.D. card; he recalls that representative from the Mexican consulate approved the work contracts for the braceros, but they denied renewals for those who had already been contracted three or four times; because of this, he often had to return to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, in order to obtain new work permits; upon passing through the Stanton Bridge in El Paso, Texas, he and other braceros were often examined and deloused in front of everyone who happened to be passing by; from there they were transported by truck to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; as a bracero, he worked in the cotton fields of Texas; it was while working as a bracero that he learned how to write his name; he recounts how his boss was killed and how the United States and Mexican governments worked together to find the murderer.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

55 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1143

Transcript Number

No. 1143

Length of Transcript

21 pages

Interview Number

No. 1143

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.