Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Ramon García was born on September 22, 1935, in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, México; he was the oldest of four siblings; his parents got divorced when he was seven years old; he was educated through the second grade; he started working in the fields of wheat when he was fifteen, and crossed illegally to the U.S two times as well; at the age of eighteen he became a bracero and worked mainly in the cotton fields in Arkansas and Texas; he worked as a bracero from 1953 to 1958; he later became a U.S. citizen.
Summary of Interview
Mr. García mentions his childhood and how difficult it was when his parents separated; he and his siblings had to work to support their family when they were only children; he crossed illegally at the age of fifteen to work in the U.S.; when he was eighteen he decided to enlist in the bracero program and went to the contracting center in Monterrey, Nuevo León; he remembers the entire process, including the waiting times, the amount of people, and the harsh conditions; he recalls the medical exams he went through; after being hired he was sent to Arkansas to the cotton fields; he describes with detail the living conditions at the field, their duties, friendships, payments, and how they spent their free time; he also work in other fields in Texas, but he mentions that his favorite place was Arkansas; in 1958 he returned to México where he worked as a taxi-driver for fifteen years; he and his family emigrated to the U.S. with the help of his father, who was already an American citizen; in the U.S. he worked for the McCormick Company and he retired after 29 years; he concludes that the bracero program was a positive experience for him.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
GMR Transcription Services
Interview with Ramon García by Alejandra Díaz, 2010, "Interview no. 1460," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.