Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Arnulfo Pompa was born August 14, 1962, in Litchfield Park, Arizona; he is the youngest in his family of six; his two oldest siblings were born in Mexico, while the other four were born in the United States; his mother was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and his father was born in Los Mochis, Ahome, Sinaloa, Mexico; from 1947 to 1956, his father worked with the bracero program; two years later, in 1958, he began working for Goodyear Farms, and the family moved to a labor camp in Litchfield Park, which is where Arnulfo was born and raised.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Pompa talks about his father and how he worked in the bracero program from 1947 to 1956; he initially traveled back and forth between the United States and Mexico, but he was eventually able to immigrate with his family during the early 1950s; in 1958, he began working for Goodyear Farms, and the family moved to a labor camp in Litchfield Park, Arizona; Arnulfo describes growing up in the camp during the 1960s and 1970s; he explains that the camps were set up with two to three apartments grouped together in about three lines that ran roughly five rows deep and housed around one hundred families; as a young boy, he began working in the fields with the rest of his family; he began to realize how poor his family was when he went started going to school with other children from town; moreover, he was often teased by his classmates, because he smelled like onions; even so, there was a strong sense of community among the other families and workers at the camp; they often gathered after work to socialize and unwind; he also mentions that there was a store at the camp owned by Goodyear Farms, where they all shopped; they were allowed to charge their purchases, because they worked there; as a result, they were always behind and in debt; in his opinion, it was a legalized form of slave labor; he offers several other anecdotes about his experiences living in the camp; Arnulfo went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree and work as an accountant; overall, it was his father who inspired him and instilled in him a strong work ethic and the importance of integrity. Length of Interview 53 minutes Length of Transcript 21 pages
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Interview with Arnulfo Pompa by Alma Carrillo, 2008, "Interview no. 1561," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.