Interviewer

Laureano Martínez

Project

Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

José Blanco was born on December 12, 1923, in Canelas, Durango, México; he was formally schooled through the second grade; when he was eight years old, he left his family to work with his father; they farmed together well into his teenage years; later he married and began a family; in 1949, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; as a bracero, he worked picking cotton in New Mexico and Texas.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Blanco recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; in 1948, he married his wife, and the following year, before the birth of their second child, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; he describes how he and a group of men walked through the mountains for three days to get to a town where they could take the train to Durango, Durango, México; from there they traveled to Chihuahua to officially begin the hiring process; he describes the entire hiring and contracting process including the medical exams and disinfecting procedures; as a bracero, he worked picking cotton in New Mexico and Texas; he explains how he picked the cotton, the wages he earned, the methods of payment, and how he was able to obtain amendments and extensions to his contracts; in addition, he tells what daily life was like on the farms including the housing and food; in general, he was treated well by his American employers; he also recalls his return trip to México; overall, he benefited greatly from the program, and he concludes that he is proud to have been a part of it.

Date of Interview

1-31-2003

Length of Interview

79 minutes

Listen to the Interview

 
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Tape Number

No. 996

Transcript Number

No. 996

Length of Transcript

60 pages

Interview Number

No. 996

Terms of Use

Unrestricted

Comments

Interview in Spanish.

Quality of audio is poor.

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