Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Horacio Andrejol was born on May 15, 1934, in Caborca, Sonora, México; his parents worked in agriculture, and he had three brothers and five sisters; he was formally educated only through the second grade; in 1960, he was married.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Andrejol briefly describes his family; for a time he worked illegally in California, but his employer helped him become a bracero toward the end of 1958; he then completed an eighteen month contract; although his boss wanted him to drive, as a bracero he was not allowed; he was then sent to Tijuana, Baja California, México, to arrange for legal residency; as a bracero, his primary responsibility was to feed and care for livestock; he initially returned to Empalme, Sonora, México, where he waited for fifteen days while he was sent money by his employer in the states on the condition that he return to work for the money he was given; in Mexicali, Baja California, he was listed as a specialized worker, which allowed him to pass much more quickly; he was medically examined, and the next day he went to work; while working illegally, he picked cotton, and he was treated horribly, including being severely underpaid; he goes on to describe the daily routines, duties, housing, provision, treatment, payments, remittances, friendships, and recreational activities; instead of writing letters home, he was fortunate enough to visit his wife in Mexicali, on a regular basis; he and other workers would often take turns leaving the camp in the evenings; later, he was able to establish residency for his wife; he also talks about the work he did after the program; overall, his memories of having been a bracero are positive, because he was able to work legally, become a legal resident, and ultimately a citizen.
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Interview with Horacio Andrejol Nogales by Alejandra Díaz, 2008, "Interview no. 1332," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.