1993 Inductee - Alfonso Vasquez


1993 Inductee - Alfonso Vasquez

Alfonso Vasquez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. His parents passed away when he was very young. He never had the opportunity to become acquainted with his father because he lost his life protecting his country during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. His family consisted of two brothers and one sister.

After the death of his parents, the children were taken to Torreon, Coahuila to live with an uncle. Several years passed when his grandmother moved the family to Zacatecas. Due to the influence that his grandmother had with the Catholic church, she was able to place the family in a boarding school, where they lived and studied. After President Calles closed the churches and convents, Alfonso and his sister and brother were forced to move back to Torreon to live with their uncle and grandmother.

When Alfonso was 13 years old, he joined the Beas and Modelo Circus which he toured with for six years. He realized that there would be no future for him and decided to move to Mexico City. The "Bracero Program" started in 1944 between the United States and Mexico. He was soon on his way to work on contract with this new venture. In 1945 he was sent to the Stockton area and was trained in the machine shop, where he continued to work repairing trucks.

In April of 1951, Mr. Vasquez married and moved to Stockton, but continued to work on Mandeville Island. While working at Delta Tractor, he joined the Machinist Union. He earned his 30 years of service pin in June of 1993 as a union member.

Since his retirement, he has had more time to become involved in the community. He has been a supporter of Cesar Chavez since 1966 and knew him personally. Alfonso believes in supporting any cause that deals with equal rights, improving working conditions and increasing wages.

For the last five years, Alfonso has worked as a volunteer counselor at Recovery House at San Joaquin General Hospital, the Alcohol Recovery Center, and the Drinking Driver Program. He feels that if he can help one to two persons, his help is worthwhile. With that in mind, he has devoted many hours to helping others recover and start a new life. Alfonso's group consists of Spanish-speaking men and women.

Alfonso is a member and past president of the Guadalupe Society at St. George's Church. He has been involved with the Comision Honorifica Mexicana, a non-profit Mexican American organization, since 1963. Alfonso's affiliations include the Community Service Organization, the Knights of Columbus, the Latin American Club, the International Labors Union, and the International Machinists Union. He is also a member of St. Linus Church.

We are extremely honored and proud to induct Mr. Alfonso Vasquez into the 1993 Mexican American Hall of Fame.