Manuel Chávez Romo


Violeta Mena


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Manuel Chávez Romo was born on November 19, 1949, in Mexicali, Baja California; he had 13 siblings, of which only his sister and him remain; his father became a bracero in 1951; his mother was a housewife who took care of the small land they had which included a handful of chickens and three cows.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Romo describes moving at a young age to San Juan de los Lagos because his father was going to help them get residency in the United States; he talks about growing up poor and that 11 of his siblings died because of the harsh winter conditions; at the age of 16 Mr. Romo attended school in Zacatecas where he studied to become a welder; he talks about his mother raising him and taking care of the few chickens and cows they had in order to survive; Mr. Romo speaks highly of his father and is very proud that his father was a bracer and states that his father was of great character because he worked an honest difficult job just to care for him; Mr. Romo’s father was a bracero from 1951 to 1956 in which he picked cotton and beetroot; as a bracer, Mr. Romo states that his father was humiliated, stripped from his clothes and fumigated when applying for contracts; Mr. Romo speaks of how his father never became a U.S. Citizen because he lost all his papers and died before he had the chance to gain them back.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

25 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1293

Transcript Number

No. 1293

Length of Transcript

16 pages

Interview Number

No. 1293

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.