Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Roberto Ponce Covarrubias was born in Camargo, Chihuahua, México in 1929; he helped his father work the land; his father was 108 years old when he passed away, and his mother was 104 years old when she passed; both he and his brother decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; he worked for ten years as a bracero in Texas and New Mexico.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Ponce and his brother decided to enroll in the Bracero Program due to their family’s financial difficulties; when they were taken to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, they were deloused and given a blood test; they were offered help when filling out work contracts; Mr. Ponce’s first work contract took him to Las Cruces, New Mexico; the worst place he worked was Lamesa, Texas; he recalls that the graveyards near the ranch were said to have been for the braceros; he sent money to his family via certified mail.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

34 minutes

Tape Number

No. 986

Transcript Number

No. 986

Length of Transcript

26 pages

Interview Number

No. 986

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.