Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Armando F. Salinas was born in El Paso, Texas; he explains that he grew up in Oxnard, California because of the economic opportunities available to his family; his dad worked the fields, for the Housing Authority, and eventually opened a house repair business.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Salinas began working in the fields at a young age, he picked strawberries and apricots during the summer, he was paid a dollar an hour and all his earnings were given to his parents except for five dollars; in his early teens he began seeing braceros besides family pickers in the fields; he explains that ten men would rent one room and they slept in cots; he describes their food as burritos and chips; he points out that braceros did the work American workers did not want to do such as ladder work; he explains that exploitation did occur, managers would call immigration in order to avoid paying illegal workers; he also recalls seeing braceros in the local bars and points out that prostitution was prevalent; he explains that local Anglos could not tell the difference between braceros and Mexicans; additionally; he remembers seeing Japanese labor camps but never seeing them around town; he concludes by stating that the program never left but decreased in numbers because of machinery.
Date of Interview
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Mayra L. Avila
Interview with Armando F. Salinas by Mireya Loza, 2008, "Interview no. 1587," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.