Daniel Rodríguez

Interview in Spanish. Interviewee addressed as Daniel Rodriguez Rea.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Daniel Rodríguez Rea briefly talks about his hometown and working in agriculture; in 1949, he left his hometown and began working in the cotton fields of Texas; he eventually relocated to Mexicali, Mexico; in 1954, Mr. Daniel Rodríguez Rea went through the hiring process to become a bracero; he mentions going through the center of Mexicali, Mexico; he recalls the process was difficult and potential braceros were required to pay twenty-five dollars in order to get in line; he also describes the medical exams and required documents; as part of the process, he was medically examined and deloused in El Centro, California; his first contract took him to work in the tomato and potato fields of Sacramento, California; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, treatment, friendships, and recreational activities; he says that braceros initially contracted for forty-five days; after that time period, many braceros were sent back to Mexico and they had to go through the process again; his second contract took him to work in the beet fields of Imperial, California; he worked as an irrigator for six years; he states that U.S. immigration and unemployment agency officials visited the fields; the unemployment agency did not want braceros working as irrigators or heavy machine operators; Mr. Rodríguez Rea states that his boss had to employ Americans in order to satisfy the unemployment agency; he continued to do the work, but he was told to keep a short-handled hoe in hand; with the help of his boss, he became a legal United States resident; Mr. Rodríguez Rea concludes that he is very proud to have worked with the Bracero Program.