Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Alonso Venegas was born on October 20, 1940, in Mezquital, Durango, México; he was the only male in a family of four; at the age of eight, he worked planting beans and corn in an effort to help his father with their ranching duties; he labored as a bracero from 1959 to 1964 in California; he picked lemons, oranges, sugar beets, and tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Venegas worked as a bracero in California from 1959 to 1964; he recalls the hiring process in rural areas and the bracero contracting center in Empalme, Sonora, México; additionally, he states how Sonora ranchers had agreements with workers to allow them to enlist in the Bracero Program; he describes daily activities, the extreme weather conditions they were exposed to, their housing, and the food they prepared; furthermore, he discusses the different contracts offered to them, the way they were paid, and how they sent money to México; he also relates an occasion when he suffered from dehydration; moreover, he explains the benefits of having been a bracero; beyond this work, he recounts why he crossed to the United States in 1972 and 1973 to be an undocumented worker, and why he would like to be a legal U.S. resident; he also expresses his pride in having been a bracero and how that experience helped him and his family to better their lives.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Alonso Venegas Batres by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1024," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.