Switch to Basic View

Silverio Vasquez Rojas

This item was contributed by a user and has not been curated by a project historian.

Description

[Empty]

Creator

Rossy Vazquez de Bonilla

Date

[Empty]

Bibliographic Citation

Rossy Vazquez de Bonilla, "Silverio Vasquez Rojas," in Bracero History Archive, Item #3308, http://braceroarchive.org/items/show/3308 (accessed November 21, 2018).

Subject

[Empty]

Source

[Empty]

Publisher

[Empty]

Contributor

Rossy Vazquez de Bonilla

Rights

You are being asked to contribute your story to the Bracero History Archive, which is developing a permanent digital record of the Bracero program. Your participation in the project will allow future historians, and people such as yourself, to gain a greater understanding of this program and its effect on the people involved.
You must be 13 years of age or older to submit material to us. Your submission of material constitutes your permission for, and consent to, its dissemination and use in connection with the Bracero History Archive in all media in perpetuity. If you have so indicated on the form, your material will be published on the Bracero History Archive website (with or without your name, depending on what you have indicated). Otherwise, your response will only be available to approved researchers using the Bracero History Archive. The material you submit must have been created by you, wholly original, and shall not be copied from or based, in whole or part, upon any other photographic, literary, or other material, except to the extent that such material is in the public domain. Further, such material must not violate any confidentiality, privacy, security or other laws.
By submitting to the Bracero History Archive you release, discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Bracero History Archive and persons acting under its permission or authority, including a public library to which the collection might be donated for purposes of long-term preservation, from any claims or liability arising out of the Bracero History Archive's use of the material, including, without limitation, claims for violation of privacy, defamation, or misrepresentation.
The Bracero History Archive has no obligation to use your material.

Rights Holder

[Empty]

Relation

[Empty]

Spatial Coverage

[Empty]

Language

[Empty]

Provenance

[Empty]

Collection

[Untitled]

Type Name

Document

Text

My father was born in Delicias, Chihuahua on June 20, 1940. His parents were Jacinto Vasquez and Rosario Rojas. He was the oldest of 12 children. He helped his father work the fields and attended school. Although he only finished the third grade, he could read and write. He was an avid reader; his favorites were the Sunday’s newspaper, revista Proceso and Selecciones de Reader’s Digest. From Delicias the family moved to Ciudad Jimenez, Chihuahua, where the family continued their work as farmers. When my grandfather became ill and was unable to work, my father and siblings become the financial support of the family.
By the 1960’s the Bracero program still in place, so my father decided to immigrate to the U.S. as a farm worker. My papa was 21 years old. The recruiting office was located in the Presidencia Municipal, where he had to apply to start the selection process. His letter extended by the presidencia is dated August 25, 1961. He would recall being transported in a truck from Jimenez to another city. From here, the men took the train to their next destination: Ciudad Juarez.
My father was admitted in El Paso, TX. on September 20, 1961, as stated in his identification card. My father worked for Duke and Shaw, LTD of Pecos, TX. He would recall his life as a cotton picker and later as a machine operator preparing the fields. He would tell us the story of how the men were stripped of their clothes to be fumigated at the processing center. He told it with such a sense of humor that it made my brother and sisters laugh.
My father had a great memory. He could remember his coworkers’ names and where they came from. He remembered all the men playing cards at night after a long day of work. They lived in a big metal building lined up with bunk beds for the men to sleep. The living quarters were equipped with one stove, where the men cooked their meals. My father recalled making flour tortillas to have for dinner, and for lunch for the next day. Once the cotton was picked from a field, the men would take their belongings and walked to the next ranch to continue their work picking cotton. On one occasion, when the cotton season was over, my father remembered how all the men left and he was the only one left in that metal building. At night he could hear the echoes of the men laughing and talking. He said he was not scared, he knew his Padre Dios was with him.
One night, while operating the tractor, he fell asleep and the tractor kept going until it got to a ditch and got stuck. He had to wait until the next morning when help arrived to pull the tractor out of the creek. He said that he made good friends and everybody was very friendly. I don’t remember my dad telling us stories of discrimination or abuses.
After only a month of working as a bracero, my dad received the opportunity to apply for residency. Duke and Shaw, LTD gave my dad the letters that he would need for his application. However, my dad never applied for residency. My mother says that as a requirement to submit his application, his Mexican documentation needed to be translated to English. This is what stopped my dad to continue his application. Back then, translators were not easy to find, and they cost money, something that my dad could not afford. In a way, I am blessed that he did not do it. At the time he worked as a bracero, he was not married, and he had not met my mother yet. His story would have been different.
In the late 1990’s, my father and all the bracero workers learned that they were owned money from the U.S. and that the Mexican government had their money. Finally after a long process, my father received his money on November 17, 2009 in Delicias, Chihuahua. With no explanation, the braceros had to turn in their identification card. Luckily, my dad kept a copy of the card. He also kept the original letters and other documents from his time as a bracero worker.
My papa passed away on July 19, 2015, he was 75 years old.

Original Format

[Empty]

Tags

Social Bookmarking