Dionisio Hernández

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Hernández recalls that sometime during the late fifties or early sixties, he enlisted in the bracero program, and he went through a contracting center in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México; he comments that he went with one of his brothers-in-law, but they were separated during the x-ray portion of their processing; they did, however, meet up later while in the United States, and they picked cotton together; as a bracero, Dionisio labored in the fields of California and Texas until the program ended in 1964; he goes on to briefly recount the different worksites, housing, payment, treatment, and recreational activities; in addition, he describes working in Lamesa, Texas, and having to prepare his own meals, which was especially difficult, because he did not know anything about cooking; he also saw snow for the first time while in Texas; moreover, he explains that Hidalgo, Texas was the worst; there were about three hundred braceros there, and they were divided into smaller working groups; sometimes, they were not taken to the fields until 10:00 am or 11:00 am, at which point there was not much left to pick; eventually, by the early sixties, he had saved enough money to buy a car; he also explains that a group of braceros organized to demand better pay and appointed him their leader; in the end, they all backed out, but he refused to continue working for little pay, so he returned to México; he married in 1970, and a year later his wife had their first child; by 1972, he and his family moved to Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato, México, and settled there; his overall memories of the program are positive.