Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Jose Bujanda was born on August 6, 1939, in Granados, Sonora; his father was an animal herder and his mother was a housewife; he had 5 sisters of whom he was the eldest and only son; Mr. Bujanda had a 6 children, only one lives in the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Bujanda education was limited to the third grade because he had to help his father harvest crops; he started working at a very young age in his father’s corn field, his duties included irrigating, planting seeds and harvesting corn; at the age of 15 Mr. Bujanda traveled to Hermosillo to harvest cotton, soon after he traveled to Sonora where he was working as a tractor operator; before becoming a Bracero in 1959, Mr. Bujanda was working as a chauffeur and to this day that is his permanent job; Mr. Bujanda’s first Bracero experience was in Caléxico, California where he harvested beetroot and lettuce, getting a total of $0.90 per hour; he remembers waking up every day at 3 in the morning to shower and eat breakfast, which was always pancakes and eggs; for lunch Mr. Bujanda remembers eating ground beef everyday accompanied by a fruit; in 1960 Mr. Bujanda got re-contracted as a Bracero, this time he was sent to Salinas, California where he harvested lettuce; later he departed to Morgan Hill, California where he worked in a small farm harvesting strawberries; Mr. Bujanda remembers that there was always police roaming around the fields in case that workers started fighting; he states that he was lucky enough to never got sick, and that his boss was always nice in giving sick people the day off; after finishing up his Bracero contract, Mr. Bujanda moved back to Mexico where he met his wife and had 6 children; Mr. Bujanda declares that the Bracero movement had a negative impact in his life, stating that the pay was not good enough and getting fumigated every time he departed to work.
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Interview with Jose Bujanda by Alejandra Díaz, 2010, "Interview no. 1336," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.