Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Guadalupe Cano was born in Cerro Colorado, Guanajuato, México; he grew up in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, México, and worked in agriculture with his family until the age of nineteen; he joined the bracero program in 1955; he worked in California, Nevada, and Texas picking asparagus, cantaloupes, cotton, grapes, lemons, olives, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelons.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Cano recalls growing up in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, México; he remembers working with his family in agriculture until he was nineteen years old; additionally, he explains how his family’s poverty pushed him to join the Bracero Program in 1955; he details the different steps he had to fulfill to obtain a bracero contract, what his experience at the bracero processing center in El Centro, California was like, and how the disinfection process was carried; he also states that he worked in California, Nevada, and Texas picking asparagus, cantaloupes, cotton, grapes, lemons, olives, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelons; furthermore, he describes what daily life was like in bracero camps, how work was carried out on farms, the housing they had, and the food they ate; he discusses the different wages they received, and how they spent their money; beyond these points, he relates what braceros did on weekends, and positive aspects of life in the United States; moreover, he outlines complaints braceros had regarding food, medical services, and tax deductions; he continues to recount what he did after his time as a bracero ended, the positive and negative aspects of the program, and the reasons why he decided to stay in México after 1960.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Length of Transcript
Interview with Guadalupe Cano Quiroz by Violeta Domínguez, 2002, "Interview no. 1027," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.