Oral History of Emigdio Ramirez Vera
Emigdio Ramirez Vera participated in the Bracero program from 1951 to 1960, working throughout the southwest in Arizona, Colorado, California and New Mexico. He joined the program in part to try to find his older brother who had been working as a Bracero in Phoenix and had not been heard from for a couple of years. Emigdio explains that communication was difficult due to the irregular mail system. Eventually his brother returned to Mexico, but Emigdio took a different path and immigrated to the United States in 1960.
Emigdio remembers his first impressions of the United States. He explains so many things were different including the houses, the number of cars, and the language. However some things were familiar such as the Spanish-lanugage movies at the Cine Azteca in Phoenix he went to on his days off. Overall, Emigdio has positive memories of his time as a Bracero, yet he remembers how hard it was to leave his parents. "I was the youngest and watching me leave for another place very, very far was hard for my mother and affected her. At the same time, she was happy because she had the hopes that everything would go well for me and I would return."