Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mrs. Enriqueta Quintero was born on July 14, 1935, in Mezcaltitán, Sinaloa, Mexico; she was the youngest of her three siblings; at the age of fourteen, she married a bracero fifteen years her senior; he worked in Imperial, Fresno, and San Joaquin, California; his contracts lasted from forty-five days to six months; they had six children; two of her brothers also joined the bracero program; she stayed in her hometown for several years while her husband worked as a bracero; he eventually moved the family to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico; at the time of the interview, Mrs. Enriqueta Quintero was living in Mexicali, Mexico and was a bracero advocate.
Summary of Interview
Mrs. Quintero describes her hometown and what her life was like growing up; she explains that the young women of her home town were taken by force by the local men; in 1949, at the age of fourteen, she decided to marry in order to avoid the men of her town; in 1950, she gave birth to a daughter; her husband returned to the United States the following year; she describes his family as well-to-do; Mr. Quintero was a bracero in California until 1964; she details the suffering he endured and the low pay that he received while working as a bracero; while still living in her hometown, he would visit the family between contracts; her husband sent money home to his father and she was told to ask her father-in-law for the money; she began making a living as a seamstress; she and their six children moved to Mexicali, Mexico; in 1973, Mr. Quintero died of a heart attack; later, Mrs. Quintero became a supervisor at a clothing maquiladora and went on to own her own shop with twenty industrial machines; she states that she does not have the paperwork to recover her husband’s pension; her wish is for the braceros to get the ten percent deduction from their pay returned to them; she became an activist for their cause.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Enriqueta Quintero by Mireya Loza, 2006, "Interview no. 1310," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.