Gonzalo Morales


Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Gonzalo Morales was born in Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua, México, in 1930; he helped his father work the fields of their hometown; his parents passed away when he was only seven years old; he and his six siblings went to live with an uncle; when he became a bracero, he was married and had three children; he worked in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Morales briefly recounts his childhood; in 1954, he heard about the Bracero Program; due to financial difficulties, he decided to go to Chihuahua, Chihuahua México, to begin the hiring process; he recalls how the Mexican President, Lázaro Cárdenas, prohibited people on ejidos from being hired as braceros; only people from ranches were allowed to be braceros; while working as a bracero he was unaware that the Mexican government received 10¢ per bracero that was hired from the ranchers; while waiting in Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, the food the braceros were given was rotten; the water used for showers was often frozen during the winter months; when he worked in Lovington, New Mexico, he was the veterinarian for the ranch; in addition, he was a tractor driver and he helped prepare food for the cattle; this was his best working experience as a bracero.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

90 minutes

Tape Number

No. 980

Transcript Number

No. 980

Length of Transcript

61 pages

Interview Number

No. 980

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.