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Maria Chavarin

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Description

This is the story of Maria Chavarin, who got married at the age of twelve and started a home and business with her husband. When money ran out, her husband worked in the United States through the bracero program and Maria followed him to work the fields as well. After having twelve children, Maria and her husband moved back to Mexico.

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0:03:08

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Family is something that everyone can relate to because it is what gives us a sense of unity. A family can have a different meaning to anyone nevertheless I believe we can all agree that without one we would feel incomplete or even lost. Every family is different in views, morals, traditions, religion and background. However, I know it gives us all a sense of belonging and a support system. My family is made of various Mexican backgrounds but today I will be sharing my maternal side of the family.

I was born and raised in Salinas, California, I am the second oldest out out of 4 children. However, my parents were not born in the United States, my mother came here when she was 15 from Guadalajara Jalisco. My mother’s parents, my grandparents, were traditional ranch farmers in the little town they used to live in. They were able to sell a living out of selling livestock and harvesting corn. They lived in a very humble one-bedroom home that they made out of clay themselves when they got married at the age of twelve! After they were able to raise some money to open up their own little butcher shop where they were able to make enough money to raise their twelve children. After a while, they could not make ends meet which led to them moving to the United States where they both began working in the fields along with all of their children.

There were many factors that brought this family to the United States. My grandpa had a very hard time keeping up with the mandatory obligations that came with being the head of the family. After hearing that the Bracero Program had begun recruiting people during the 1940s, he decided to join. He quickly signed up and began working in the fields in order to send money back to Mexico. My grandma grew impatient and wanted the family to remain together, my grandpa as well. This is when they decided that he would bring my family, my grandma and the rest of his children to the United States. Both of them realized that life could be better for them and they would ultimately better support their family. Once they arrived here in the United States, they were able to enjoy the life they were able to obtain working in the fields. Most of the children joined them and also began taking part in getting jobs and making money.

Although many of them enjoyed it, some of their children decided to go back to Mexico because they lacked a sense of belonging here. My grandparents respected their decisions but they wanted to remain here because of their jobs and their family was here as well. Years passed and they grew older and realized that they no longer wanted to stay in the United States, so they packed their things and moved back. However, all of their other children wanted to remain here because they had already established families and gotten better jobs. In conclusion, my grandparents started with some success in Mexico, but began to go through hard times. This led them to migrate to America where they would find jobs and settle in with their family. After spending some time working and establishing a life in the United States, they missed Mexico and moved back. However, many of their children decided to stay in the United States and establish lives of their own.