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 Community History Project


Oral History of Maria Molina Hernandez

Maria's father, José Molina, worked as a Bracero from 1953 to 1964/65. Maria remembers the difficulties her mother and siblings faced in Guanajuato, Mexico waiting for her father's return between seasons. Although her father would bring wonderful gifts, like the time he brought Maria her first doll baby when she was 3 or 4 years old, the family missed him deeply. Toward the end of his work, José was injured on the job and stayed in the United States for an extended period of time. Overall Maria remembers this as a very trying time for her family: "You know, we were seeing my mother struggle with the rest of the kids, it was ah, very painful and I don't know, there’s no words to describe the feeling of not having a dad [and] hearing Mother cry at night." 

The family immigrated to the United States in 1968.  The move was especially hard for Maria who missed her aunt and faced difficult challenges learning English at age 14. Yet her father's dream of seeing his children obtain an education was fulfilled as a result of their coming to the United States. Maria and her siblings all finished high school, and many of the younger children went on to obtain college degrees as well.
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Click on the following links to access the oral history transcript and audio file of the oral history.

audio file for Maria Molina Hernandez
transcript for Maria Molina Hernandez


Maria Molina Hernandez

José Molina


José Molina's Bracero Card
 
Maria (4 yrs), her brother Jacinto and her
baby sister Marina, and their mother (Maria
Georgina Luna) in Mexico

Maria Georgina Luna, Aunt Francis, Maria (eldest child)
and her siblings: Jacinto, Marina, Beatrice, Ignacio and baby
Pedro (around 1962 or 1963)

Maria's First Communion
 
José and Maria (center) surrounded by their 13 children 

Maria's grandfather Pedro Molina
(left), who was also a Bracero

Maria Gerogina Luna Molina with her children in 2002


Photos courtesy of the family.