Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Manuel Márquez Flores was born in 1920; he spent his childhood with his seven siblings on the ranch where their father worked; he learned of the Bracero Program while he was helping his father work on the ranch; in 1959, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in the cotton and tomato fields of Las Cruces, New Mexico; he also worked in Pecos, Texas.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Márquez traveled to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, in order to begin the hiring process; he recalls that there were thousands of people from cities all over México waiting to be hired as braceros; because many of them did not have any money, they looked for food in trash cans; Mr. Márquez was hired as a bracero when he was twenty-seven years old; he also remembers that at Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, whenever a potential bracero was turned away due to illness, the rest of the braceros would collect money for that man so he could return home; the Bracero Program was not at all what he expected.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

30 minutes

Tape Number

No. 977

Transcript Number

No. 977

Length of Transcript

22 pages

Interview Number

No. 977

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.