Velasquez, Alfredo 1989-04-19

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Alfredo Velásquez discusses his different jobs, life in Lubbock as years went by, and the importance of education and health insurance. Note – This interview is the continuation of the interview with Alfredo Velásquez’s wife, Belén Velásquez.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Alfredo Velasquez

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: April 19, 1989

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Yolanda Romero

Length: 55 minutes


Tape 1: the reason why he came to live to Lubbock; almost turning 18 when he escaped and bought some lots of land with his sisters; his and his parents’ birth place; the ranch in which he was born; the place where his parents met; the family and the harvest of cotton; the reasons why he became a truck driver; preferred to take young people older than 15 to work; his personality could influence workers to keep working with him; how he was so lucky in finding work for him and his workers; the wages he earned; the difference of income compared to the one today; how the majority of the workers were from his family; the little change of people respect to work; examples of racism around Lubbock; the “braceros” and the hard and heavy work that others didn’t want to do; the importance of the harvesting work; the constructions he participated in; the Mexican neighbors in Lubbock; what he thinks about women staying at home or going out to work; the mother is needed in the house, especially when there are children; his belief of how the man is the one who has to provide everything for the family; Mr. Velasquez’s wife mentions that her mother worked in the labor; in the ranch, there is work for everyone; the start of using machines in the farm field; how Lubbock changed from being a town to becoming a city; he only worked around Lubbock, never out of the state; Among the works he did, he drove tractors; the rain was problematic because it was harder to work; in the present, there are more Mexicans doing the type of work he did; he also was a carpenter assistant; the highest level of education he achieved was ninth grade; the majorities were female teachers and that they didn’t teach them certain things; occasionally they were punished for using Spanish in the school; he went to Lubbock because he wanted to leave the ranch; As final comments, he mentions that school is really important; he believes that there are more possibilities of going ahead and less discrimination; Mr. and Mrs. Velazquez mention that they are planning in purchasing a health insurance but that they already have life insurance; a young boy who bleeds to death in a Lubbock hospital of Lubbock for not having a health insurance; Consider that Mexicans know the importance of having health insurance and they comment about somebody they knew who had a tumor, and how important the health insurance became for him.

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Access Information

Original Recording Format: audio cassette

Recording Format Notes: original recording digitized, CD copy available in Reading Room

Transcript: Spanish and English draft transcripts available in Reading Room

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