Vasquez, Maria 2000-06-23

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Maria Vasquez talks about what it was like growing up in a family of migrant workers. She talks about the effects of migrant work on her life, the everyday experiences of migrant work, and her hope for her future and the future of her children. She also briefly talks about Floydada, Texas

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Maria Vasquez

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 23, 2000

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Juan L. Riera

Length: 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Vasquez, Maria, Born March 16, 1955 in South Texas, Family, Father:Roberto Rodriquez; b. in Mexico, Mother: Edwena Rodriquez; b. Chicago, IL, Siblings, Father moved to Houston, TX at age 13 to work., Parents were migrant workers, Migrant Work, In Oregon they harvested strawberries, cherries and green beans, In Colorado father worked at a cabbage processing plant, In Texas the picked cotton and worked with citrus fruit, Vasquez, Maria, Began working in the fields at the age of nine, Effects of migrant work on lifestyle, School age children are always in remedial classes in school, No long-term friendships could be formed, Even when they return to the same farm, they live in different places, Description of housing for migrant workers in Oregon, Family (again), Stopped migrant work and settled in Floydada, TX in 1973, Father went to work in the gin, Mother went to work as a domestic, Today the entire family live in West Texas, Locations and work of siblings, Effects of migrant work (again), They learned about other ways of life, The experience encouraged Maria and her siblings to get an education, Migrant work (again), Start work very early in the mornings, Pay rate, Hours, Breaks, Co-workers, Anglos had higher paying jobs, Farm Owners, Most farms owned by Anglos, One farm was owned by a Japanese woman, Family never worked on ranches, just farms, Vasquez, Maria, Now a full-time student studying to become a teacher, Wants to utilize her background to help migrant worker’s children, Floydada, Texas, High Hispanic population, Governed by “Bible belt” people, Heavy agricultural area, Migrant workers come in the summer to hoe the fields and do cotton ginning, Ginning, Most employees are Hispanic, Produce cotton bales, paid by the hour, Three eight hour shifts, seven days a week, When the season begins depends on cotton crop, Floydada, Texas (again), Company where her ex-husband used to work, Maria Vasquez’s children, Their interests, Why Maria hopes they choose not to do migrant work, Migrant work (again), Working alone in the field, Size of Oregon strawberry farms, Harvesting beans, Snakes and spiders in the fields, Going to the bathroom, Venders came to the fields in Oregon, Weather, Traveling by car to work up north, Crew leader recruits workers for specific growers, Mothers say when it’s time to return to “home town”, Crew leaders’ duties, Cautions regarding crew leaders, How often workers were paid, Changes in farm work, Concerns about pesticides, Changes in the law, More help for migrant workers in the north than in Texas, Differences in food between Oregon and Texas, Differences in Mexican food within Texas.

Tape 1, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1955-2000

Bulk Dates: 1955-1973

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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