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 Community History Project




Oral History of Elio Pompa

Elio Pompa is the son of a Bracero worker, Gildardo Espinoza Pompa. Gildardo worked as a Bracero from the late 1940s through the early 1950s. He traveled between the two countries at first, and then brought his wife and children with him to the United States in the late 1950s after obtaining visas.

Elio has vague memories of living in migrant workers' camps until the family settled near Waddell, Arizona where both parents found work at Goodyear Farms. The family lived in Camp 53, and the children joined their parents in agricultural work when not in school.

Elio admires his parents for the great sacrifices they made to bring the family to the United States. His mother left her teaching job in Mexico, and his father worked tirelessly for his family and suffered from work-related illnesses. Despite the difficulties of their circumstance, he recounts many happy memories of his parents dancing, community parties, music, and his father's humor. "There was a local band that lived in the camp, and somebody always had a guitar. They partied hard, but they worked incredibly, incredibly hard as well."
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Click on the following links to access the oral history transcript and audio file.

transcript Elio Pompa.pdf

Elio Pompa audio file.MP3 




Elio Pompa holding photo of his picture merged with a picture of his father



Gildardo E. Pompa receiving 15 year pin from Goodyear Farms




Elio and his mother , Sofia Juarez Pompa




Camp 53 where Elio grew up




Elio as "chauffer" to The Big 7


photos courtesy of the family