Hector Hinojosa oral history recording


Hector Hinojosa oral history recording


An audio recording of an oral history of Hector Hinojosa. He was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and migrated to Harlingen, Texas with his family when he was two years old. After Harlingen experienced an economic downturn, the family began migrating seasonally across the country for agricultural work and eventually settled in Washington County. In spite of his abilities, Hector found himself struggling in high school due to a strict policy that penalized him for absences he took to help his family. Hector dropped out during his sophomore year and worked full-time managing a co-op gas station to help support his parents. After a year he was able to return to school through Job Corps in Portland and obtain his GED. Upon graduation Job Corps offered Hector part-time work as a counselor and gave him a scholarship to attend Portland State University to study guidance and counseling. Once he completed the program, Hector worked as a counselor at Forest Grove high school, and after several years began work with a program at University of Oregon to help struggling high school students obtain GEDs. Hector then spent a year working as a recruiter for Colegio César Chávez, and then moved to California to work for Castle & Cooke and negotiate labor contracts between the company and union leaders such as César Chávez. Hector eventually returned to Washington County. He resides in Hillsboro and continues to do independent consulting work for businesses. During his years in Washington County Hector has also been involved with a number of social service organizations.
Hector speaks about why his family moved to Washington County, the living and working conditions that his family experienced in Oregon, and the racism that he experienced in Texas and Oregon. He describes his own struggles in an education system that was not sensitive to his familial obligations, and how those experiences informed his work as a counselor, negotiator, and consultant. Hector elaborates on the importance of culture and language to one’s sense of identity, and on both personal and community struggles to offer improved opportunities for Mexican-ancestry and Latino people in and around Hillsboro. There is a transcript of this interview.


Hinojosa, Hector

Is Part Of

Latino Oral History collection


Washington County (Or.) -- History
Hispanic Americans -- History


Washington County (Or.)
Forest Grove (Or.)
Hillsboro (Or.)


1 sound file (1 hr., 30 min.)






In Copyright


Washington County Museum


Sprunger, Luke