José Parra


Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

José Parra was born in Sahuarichi, Chihuahua, México, in 1949; he and his father worked together in the fields for seven years; in 1949, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in the cotton fields of New Mexico and Texas; his last year as a bracero was in 1956.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Parra learned of the Bracero Program from an Immigration official while he was working illegally in Texas; the first time he was hired as a bracero, he was sent to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, but then he had to return to Chihuahua, México, in order to renew his work contract after that; he recalls that there were centers strategically placed near towns where there were ranches so that the braceros could quickly be sent to the ranches where they would work; the main difference for him between working as a bracero and working illegally was the freedom he enjoyed to go wherever he pleased as a bracero; even so, he and other braceros suffered from racism; they were viewed by some Americans as foreigners who stole their jobs.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

34 minutes

Tape Number

No. 984

Transcript Number

No. 984

Length of Transcript

17 pages

Interview Number

No. 984

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.