Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Alonso Venegas was born on October 20, 1940, in Mezquital, Durango, México; he was the only male in a family of four; at the age of eight, he worked planting beans and corn in an effort to help his father with their ranching duties; he labored as a bracero from 1959 to 1964 in California; he picked lemons, oranges, sugar beets, and tomatoes.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Venegas worked as a bracero in California from 1959 to 1964; he recalls the hiring process in rural areas and the bracero contracting center in Empalme, Sonora, México; additionally, he states how Sonora ranchers had agreements with workers to allow them to enlist in the Bracero Program; he describes daily activities, the extreme weather conditions they were exposed to, their housing, and the food they prepared; furthermore, he discusses the different contracts offered to them, the way they were paid, and how they sent money to México; he also relates an occasion when he suffered from dehydration; moreover, he explains the benefits of having been a bracero; beyond this work, he recounts why he crossed to the United States in 1972 and 1973 to be an undocumented worker, and why he would like to be a legal U.S. resident; he also expresses his pride in having been a bracero and how that experience helped him and his family to better their lives.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Alonso Venegas Batres by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1024," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.