Jose Mata Alvarez


Cesar Villarreal


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Jose Mata Alvarez was born on March 20, 2010 in Guanacevi, Durango, Mexico. His parents divorced when he was a child. Mata lived with his grandparents since he was a child. He only studied for two years when he was young. Mata worked as a bracero when he was eighteen years old picking cotton in Texas and California.

Summary of Interview

Jose Mata Alvarez started working at a very young age. He traveled to Tamaulipas, Mexico to get hired as a bracero for the first time. In 1960 he worked in Texas and in 1961 he moved to California. Mata worked picking beetroot and cleaning beans. He renewed his contract and worked for the last time as a bracero in 1964 in Denver, Colorado. He also worked picking grapes and lemon. Sometime, he worked six days a week and more than eight hours per day. The salary was based on the quantity not on the hours worked per day. He was very happy when he worked as a bracero.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

37 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1469

Transcript Number

No. 1469

Length of Transcript

24 pages



Interview Number

No. 1469

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.