Interviewee

Rodolfo Cruz Figueroa

Interviewer

Violeta Domínguez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Rodolfo Cruz was born near Mexico City, México; he was the oldest of six siblings; at an early age, he worked in agriculture; at the age of sixteen, he moved to Miacatlán, Morelos, México; he joined the Bracero Program in 1946, and worked in California, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming; there he picked apricots, broccoli, carrots, cotton, lemons, lettuce, onions, oranges, parsley, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Cruz recalls growing up near México City, México, and working in agriculture; he remembers moving to Miacatlán, Morelos, México at the age of sixteen, and joining the Bracero Program in 1946; as a bracero, he worked in California, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming picking apricots, broccoli, carrots, cotton, lemons, lettuce, onions, oranges, parsley, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes; he describes the hiring process he went through, his experiences at the contracting centers in Irapuato, Guanajuato, México, and Empalme, Sonora, México, and the medical exams he endured; additionally, he details what daily life was like for braceros, what food and housing they were given, and the treatment they got from foremen; he relates an instance when he had problems with a Mexican-American foreman, and the discrimination the man had towards Mexicans; furthermore, he explains how he saved money for the future, and why many braceros did not do the same; he discusses what he did for recreation, and how he liked traveling during weekends; moreover, he states that being a bracero was a positive experience for him, and that it helped him buy his house and the land he still works on.

Date of Interview

7-25-2002

Length of Interview

88 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1031

Transcript Number

No. 1031

Length of Transcript

58 pages

Interview Number

No. 1031

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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