Laureano Martínez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Ignacio Pérez was born in 1924, in Rodeo, Durango, México; he was the oldest of four brothers; an orphan at the age of seven, he grew up with his maternal grandmother; he worked as a shepherd when he was a boy; in 1949, he crossed the México-United States border to work as an undocumented laborer; after a week, he was hired as a bracero; he worked in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas picking cotton and harvesting sugar beets.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Pérez recalls crossing the México-United States border in 1949; later, he was hired as a bracero in Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas; he worked in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas; additionally, he describes the farming activities of braceros, their work hours, the housing provided for them, and the food they prepared; he recalls the wages he was paid, the different contracts he had, and how he sent money to his family in México; furthermore, he relates what braceros did during the weekends, and how U.S. citizens in town treated them; he expresses his feelings about the program and the benefits of having worked in the United States.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

45 minutes

Listen to the Interview

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Tape Number

No. 1015

Transcript Number

No. 1015

Length of Transcript

39 pages

Interview Number

No. 1015

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.