Jackie Martínez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Mr. Antonio Molina R. was born on February 1, 1933, in San José de los Molinas, Jalisco, Mexico; his father worked in agriculture and his mother was a housewife; he had three siblings; his father died in 1941; his stepfather and brother were also braceros; in 1958, he became a bracero and remained working as such until 1961; he worked in the agricultural fields of Arizona and California; he later worked for Holly Sugar Company and the International Union Laborers; he is the father of four daughters and two sons; he is married to Martina Molina.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Antonio Molina R. briefly recalls his childhood and the financial difficulties he and his family endured; when he was ten years old, he helped his family by working as a cobbler; in 1957, he and his wife traveled from Guadalajara to Mexicali, Mexico; in 1958, he traveled to the United States, in search of employment; his goal was to earn one thousand dollars and return to Guadalajara, Mexico to begin a contracting company; he met a representative from CROM and he enlisted in the bracero program; he traveled to the processing center in Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; he recalls the harsh conditions he and other men endured while waiting there; in 1958, he picked 2000 kilos of cotton and was given a pass to obtain his first contract; he worked in the cotton fields of Somerton, Arizona; after the completion of his first contract, he stayed in the area and worked as a maintenance man at Bruce Church Inc.; he returned to Mexicali, Mexico to be with his family; he later returned to the contracting center in Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; he worked in the tomato fields at Rancho Zaragoza; Mexicali, Mexico; his second contract sent him to work in the lemon grooves of Santa Paula, California; he briefly mentions the provisions, duties, payments, deductions, treatment and recreational activities; he recalls that braceros lost their money playing cards, drinking, and on women; he recalls the murder of a fellow bracero, Rufino González; he states that at certain camps, many braceros were hired despite the lack of work; in 1961, he arranged for permanent residency; Mr. Antonio Molina R. concludes that although he did suffer as a bracero, he is proud to have worked with the program.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

54 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1322

Transcript Number

No. 1322

Length of Transcript

26 pages


GMR Transcription Services

Interview Number

No. 1322

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.