Bracero Oral History Project
The Institute of Oral History expanded the collection of interview materials outside of the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez region with the Bracero Oral History Project. The Bracero program, a federal guest worker program initially intended to address labor shortages during World War II, brought more than two million Mexicans to the United States to work. The Institute of Oral History launched the Bracero Oral History Project to systematically collect interviews with individuals throughout the United States and Mexico who were involved in the Bracero program. To date we have collected over 800 interviews and are transcribing the interviews to make them available to the public by Fall 2005.
Hispanic entrepreneurs always have played an integral role in El Paso’s business and economic growth. Often rising from humble beginnings, these passionate entrepreneurs relied on hard work and integrity to reach what some told them were unattainable heights.
The Paso del Norte Entrepreneurship Oral History Project,funded by the Kaufmann Foundation, identifies some of these prominent Hispanic business owners and tells their stories of overcoming expectations to become successful role models. Project organizers hope the testimonials from the 36 entrepreneurs, including 13 UTEP graduates, will inspire future business leaders.
Graduate and undergraduate students from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) worked with the University’s Institute of OralHistory to seek out first-generation Hispanic entrepreneurs who have owned their businesses for at least five years. In one-on-one interviews, the businessmen and women talked about growing up – often in poverty – to become business owners and community leaders.
To listen to audio recordings please visit http://heho.utep.edu