Interviewer

Violeta Domínguez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Manuel Guzmán was born in Uriangato, Guanajuato, México; from an early age, he worked sowing corn, garbanzo beans, and wheat; as a teenager, he crossed into the United States to work as an undocumented worker; he was deported from the U.S., and returned to México where he worked in farms; in 1957, he joined the Bracero Program; he worked in Arizona and California picking grapefruits, green beans, lemons, lettuce, oranges, plums, strawberries, and tomatoes; he did these activities until 1964.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Guzmán recalls growing up in Uriangato, Guanajuato, México, and sowing corn, garbanzo beans, and wheat at an early age; he also remembers crossing into the United States as a teenager to labor as an undocumented worker; additionally, he discusses how he joined the Bracero Program in 1957, and what his trip to the contracting center in Empalme, Sonora, México was like; he describes the different steps he went through to sign a contract, what it was like at the reception center in El Centro, California, the medical exams he endured, and the way clauses in his contract were explained; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona and California picking grapefruits, green beans, lemons, lettuce, oranges, plums, strawberries, and tomatoes; furthermore, he relates his daily activities on the farms, and how they were treated by foremen and ranchers; he explains that he had different contracts, and that taxes were deducted from their wages; moreover, he recounts how braceros sent money back to México, the mail they received, what they did during weekends, and the common complaints they had; he concludes by expressing the difference between working as a bracero and being an undocumented worker.

Date of Interview

4-17-2002

Length of Interview

140 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 1036

Transcript Number

No. 1036

Length of Transcript

64 pages

Interview Number

No. 1036

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

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