Alejandra Valles


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Sara Arrieta was born on May 25, 1943, in Lerdo, Durango, México; her father, Pedro Arrieta González, was a bracero; he was born in the same city, on June 27, 1902; Sara had sixteen brothers and sisters, but three of them passed away.

Summary of Interview

Sara’s father, Pedro Arrieta González, worked as a bracero; she vividly describes how poor she and her family were while she was growing up; there were times when they went days without eating, until her father was able to send them money from the United States; they were always happy to have him back home; prior to becoming a bracero, he made brooms; he repeatedly mentioned how fond he was of the United States, especially because it was so different; his first contract was in 1942, the year before Sara was born; she comments that virtually every time he returned home, he left her mom pregnant; he would frequently tell Sara about his different experiences in the United States, including an incident where he helped unload wounded soldiers from a train during World War II; while he was gone, which was often, his family also went through very difficult times; later, in 1967, Sara and her sister emigrated to the United States; after the bracero program ended, Pedro returned to México, and he continued making brooms; Sara also recalls that her father would come back home with boxes of clothes for the entire family; he would send money home by telegraph or by mail; in addition, he also told Sara about not being allowed into certain restaurants; consequently, neither Mexicans nor African Americans were permitted.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

18 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1333

Transcript Number

No. 1333

Length of Transcript

12 pages

Interview Number

No. 1333

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.