Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Miguel Ortega was born in Miacatlán, Morelos, México; his father worked in sugar cane fields; at the age of twelve, he joined his father in the fields; he was in the Bracero Program from 1957 to 1964; he worked in Arizona packing lettuce and in California cutting celery.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ortega recalls his childhood in Miacatlán, Morelos, México; he states that when he was twelve years old, he began working with his father in sugar cane fields; additionally, he remembers that he moved to Empalme, Sonora, México in 1957 to secure a bracero contract; he relates the help he received there while waiting to enlist in the program, and the process he encountered at the contracting center; furthermore, he remembers his trip to the United States-México border, and how he was treated at the processing center in El Centro, California; he details how the fumigation process was carried out, and how their paper work was created; moreover, he recounts working in Arizona and California packing lettuce and cutting celery; he discusses what his daily workload was like, and the physical difficulties the work entailed; to conclude, he reflects on what his life would have been like had he stayed in the U.S. after the program was done.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Miguel Ortega by Violeta Domínguez, 2003, "Interview no. 1054," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.