Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Jurado was born on December 10, 1935, in Canatlán, Durango, México; he was the oldest of four siblings; to help his father, he worked in agricultural from an early age; at age eleven, his father left the family and he was forced to grow up with paternal relatives; in 1951, he enrolled in the Bracero Program, and worked in New Mexico and Texas picking cotton; he performed these duties until 1956.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Jurado recalls crossing the United States-México border with his father; once there, they were hired as undocumented workers at a cotton field in El Paso, Texas; after one year, they both decided to enlist in the Bracero Program in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México; he describes the bracero contracting center there, the questioning process they endured, the medical exams performed on them and the reception center in El Paso, Texas; a bracero from 1951 to 1956, he worked in New Mexico and Texas; he remembers daily activities on the farms, their housing, the furniture they were provided, and the food they prepared; additionally, he discusses the different contracts given to braceros, the lengths of those contracts, and their extensions; he also recounts what their wages were, how they were paid, and the treatment they received from foremen; furthermore, he relates how they received visits from representatives of the Mexican consulate; he continues to detail how he sent money to his family in México, the relationships braceros had with each other, the trips they took to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México and what they did on weekends; moreover, he explains his happiness and pride in having been a bracero.
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Interview with José Guadalupe Jurado Pérez by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1008," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.