Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
J. Ezequiel Acevedo was born on April 13, 1934, in Jerez, Zacatecas, México; he received very little formal education, because as the eldest of his siblings, he had to help support his family; his father often labored on the railroads in the United States under the bracero program; in the early fifties, José joined his father in the program; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah, picking asparagus, blackberries, carrots, cotton, and oranges; in addition, he also irrigated crops and helped care for livestock; he later returned to the United States, and he ultimately became a citizen.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Acevedo talks about his family and childhood; as a child, his father often labored on the railroads in the United States under the bracero program; whenever he was gone, José was left to care for his younger siblings; when he was roughly seventeen, he traveled to Irapuato, Guanajuato, México, with his father, to join the program; José describes the process he underwent while there, as well as how embarrassing the physical exams were, because he was stripped naked in front of everyone; moreover, upon arriving in the United States he endured similar assessments, and he was also deloused; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah, picking asparagus, blackberries, carrots, cotton, and oranges; in addition, he irrigated crops and helped care for livestock; he goes on to detail the various worksites, labor populations, living conditions, provisions, treatment, payments, remittances, and recreational activities; more specifically, he explains one instance in which he was injured while working and the resulting difficulties he faced; he also mentions that representatives from the Mexican consul were often seen at the campsites in support of the braceros; additionally, he states that while working in Arizona, it was unbearably hot, and the construction of the barracks only made it worse; later, in 1962, he returned to the United States, with his wife [See also No. 1165] and children, and he ultimately became a citizen; his overall memories of the program are positive.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with J. Ezequiel Acevedo Perez by Anabel Mota, 2006, "Interview no. 1164," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.