Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
David F. Herrera was born in 1925, and soon after, his family moved to Mesquite, New Mexico; he went through two years of college at New Mexico Statue University, where he focused on civil engineering; shortly thereafter, he followed in his father’s footsteps and began farming; he began hiring braceros to help him on the farm in the mid 1950s.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Herrera recalls that in 1946, after attending New Mexico State University for two years, he began farming in Mesquite, New Mexico, with only twelve acres of land; gradually, he acquired more land, and in the mid 1950s he began hiring braceros; with the help of his friends he would pick the braceros up at Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; the braceros primarily helped him with the cotton harvest beginning in late August and continuing through February; he would hire twenty braceros for the harvest; the workers were housed in renovated adobe buildings with electricity and running water; they would often walk to nearby stores to buy necessities or would wait until the weekends to go to Anthony or Las Cruces, New Mexico; he would furnish the braceros with the bags they needed to pick cotton; oftentimes, he and a neighbor would share braceros as necessary for finishing work; in his opinion, it was pressure from the labor unions that ultimately caused the demise of the Bracero Program.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with David F. Herrera by Beth Morgan, 2003, "Interview No. 1559," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.