Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Adolfo Valdez Verduzco was born on September 9, 1931, in Casa Blanca, Sinaloa, Mexico; he is one of six siblings; his father worked in agriculture and his mother was a housewife; when he was a young boy, he helped his family by working in the fields and caring for animals; he was formally educated through the third grade; in 1954, he became a bracero and remained working as such until 1962; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of Imperial Valley, California, Medford, Oregon, and Aguila, Arizona; he later immigrated to the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Valdez Verduzco talks about his hometown of Casa Blanca, Sinaloa, Mexico and what his life was like growing up; his parents moved from Sinaloa to Mexicali, Mexico in search of employment; in 1946, he crossed into the United States illegally; in 1954, he went through the hiring process to become a bracero; in addition, he mentions going through centers in El Centro, Bella Vista, and Santa Clara, California, Mexicali, Mexico and Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; his first contract took him to work in the potato fields of Stockton, California; he returned to Mexico and renewed his contract in Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; he details the harsh conditions he and other men endured while waiting there; the camp was overcrowded; he recalls the entire process, including lists of eligible workers, waiting times, and modes of transportation; as part of the process, he was medically examined and deloused; he recalls that one of the requirements for the braceros was to have calloused hands; many men would rub stones against their hands in order to meet this requirement; his second contract sent him to work in the orchards of Medford, Oregon; he recalls that the braceros were forced to remain stooped over while working in the lettuce fields; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, deductions, remittances and correspondence; he gives his opinion of the braceros from Oaxaca, Mexico; he married and had children after his time as a bracero; in 1966, with the help of his boss, he became a legal United States resident; in 1972, he was able to do the same for his family; although he did suffer as a bracero, his overall memories of the program are positive.
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Interview with Adolfo Valdez Verduzco by Alma Carrillo, 2006, "Interview no. 1319," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.