Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Lorenzo González was born in 1925, in the state of Jalisco, México; he grew up financially secure, and neither he nor his family were ever in need of anything; when he was young, he wanted something to do, so he enlisted in the bracero program to come to the United States; in 1950, he returned to México; two years later he began working at a bank in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México; he was ultimately able to immigrate to the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. González recalls writing letters to his mother while he was in the United States; he states there was always a lot of work to be done, which always led to a chance to make money; as a bracero, some of his duties included working with machines that picked lettuce and driving tractors and transportation buses; in addition, while he was in Fresno, California, he was a foreman, and he was responsible for picking up braceros at the processing centers; it was difficult, because oftentimes more men than they needed loaded themselves into the truck in the hope of getting work; during his free time he would play ball or talk with the others, and on weekends he would go into town; he explains that sometimes, when the buses transporting the men to the fields were full, he would drive himself in his own car and take others with him; although he was aware that for some men things went horribly, this was not the case for him; in 1950, he returned to México; two years later he began working at a bank in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and he continued working there until 1978; he comments that overall, the program did not change his life much; he worked very hard, but he was young and it was a way to pass the time; moreover, he states that braceros came to help the United States during an especially difficult time; even children were in the fields at the time, because there was no one else left to work.
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Interview with Lorenzo González by Jackie Martínez, 2006, "Interview no. 1151," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.