Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Vicente Nuñez Morales was born in 1918, in Otáez, Durango, México; his mother’s name was María Morales, and his father’s name was Cayetano Núñez; Vicente had six sisters and four brothers; although he was never formally educated, he learned how to work in the fields; when he was twenty years old, he married; he later enlisted in the bracero program and completed a total of four contracts; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of California, planting and picking lemons, peaches, tomatoes and watermelons.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Nuñez talks about deciding to join the bracero program, because he could earn more money, which would go further in México; in order to get the necessary documents to enlist, he had to pick cotton for fifteen days; he then went through the contracting center in Mexicali, Baja California, México; later, he also went through the center in Empalme, Sonora, México; as part of the process he was medically examined; as a bracero, he completed a total of four contracts, and he labored in the fields of California, planting and picking lemons, peaches, tomatoes and watermelons; he goes on to detail his various duties, routines, provisions, housing and treatment; in addition, he mentions being involved in an accident where the truck he was in crashed and rolled over, but he only suffered minor injuries; he also explains that contracts were typically for forty-five days, but if there was more work, the contract could be renewed; consequently, he worked for roughly five months in Sacramento and Yuba City, California; whenever possible, during his free time, he went into town to shop or watch movies; he briefly talks about his life after the program; in retrospect having been a bracero helped him earn and saved a little more money.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Vicente Nuñez Morales by Annette Shreibati, 2006, "Interview no. 1235," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.