Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Anacleto Morales was born on July 13, 1934, in Durango, Durango, México; he grew up in Morcillo, Durango, México; he was the oldest of four brothers; at the age of eight, he started working in the fields to help his family; when he was seventeen years old, he loaded trucks during the construction of a dam; he worked as a bracero from 1955 to 1964 in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; his jobs included gathering cantaloupes, cotton, cucumbers, grapefruits, lettuce, onions, oranges, and tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Morales worked as a bracero from 1955 to 1964 in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; he recalls how he got his first bracero contract in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, and what the hiring process was like; furthermore, he states how much braceros had to pay to get a good spot in line outside of the contracting center, what it was like to go through the center, and the medical tests he was given; he describes his trip via cargo train to the border and his time at Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; additionally, he discusses the different jobs he performed, the wages of those jobs, and how braceros were treated by foremen; he details the varying lengths of his contracts, his pay, and how he sent money to México; moreover, he remembers the places where they lived, the food they cooked, and what they did in the weekends; he also recounts a time when he got sick and was hospitalized in El Paso, Texas for twelve days; towards the end of the interview, he expresses his pride in having been a bracero and his opinion that the Bracero Program should be established again.
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Interview with Anacleto Morales Franco by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1014," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.