Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Porfirio Rico was born in Jéruco Michoacán, México on September 14, 1914. Porfirio had five brothers and three sisters. He joined the Bracero Program in 1944, when he was thirty years old.
Summary of Interview
Porfirio Rico was born in Jéruco Michoacán, México on September 14, 1914. He attended school until the second grade when Porfirio was taken out of school so he could learn to tend to animals and do housework and light field work. When he was about 10 or 11 years old, Porfirio worked with his grandfather, earning $.15 cents an hour. Porfirio worked in various places such as Morelia, Irapuato Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Aguascalientes in México. Porfirio heard about the Bracero Program and decided to give it a try because the work in México was becoming very hard to come by. When he registered for the Bracero Program, Porfirio was doused with DDT and checked for nits. Porfirio was contracted to be paid $.72 cents an hour and was offered room and food for a $1.50 a day. It was 1944 and the first city Porfirio work in as a bracero in the United States was Anaheim, California. He worked in many cities such as San Dimas, Santa Barbara and San Marcos. There were where instances however when Porfirio crossed over to work illegally without work papers, though he states that he is now a legal citizen in the United States. Porfirio doesn’t recall having been subjected to discrimination and feels that working in the Bracero Program was a good opportunity to earn money and help family back home in México.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Porfirio Z. Rico by Beatrice Izumbo, 2008, "Interview no. 1418," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.