Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Gregorio Nuñez was born in 1923, in Puente Grande, Jalisco, Mexico; his father was a large landowner; his mother was a housewife; he was formally educated through the eighth grade; as a teenager, he decided to leave his hometown and move to the United States; he became a bracero in 1946; he and his wife had five sons and one daughter; he worked as truck driver for twenty three years.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Nuñez briefly talks about his family; he and a friend traveled by train from Guadalajara, Mexico to Benjamin Hill, Sonora, Mexico; from there he traveled to Mexicali, Mexico and then to Calexico, California to look for his brother; his brother was no longer living at the address; he stayed on with the young woman who lived at the address and she introduced him to a foreman that worked for Spruce Farms; initially, Mr. Nuñez was an undocumented worker; in 1946, he heard about the bracero program and decided to join; Mr. Nuñez met his wife in Brawley, California and they were married in 1951; after one of his contracts ended, he stayed in the U.S. illegally; he details being sent back to Mexico for ninety days so that he could return legally; Mr. Nuñez learned to operate the farming machinery and eventually bought his own trucks; he was involved in two serious accidents; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, deductions, remittances, treatment, friendships, and recreational activities; many of the braceros were from southern Mexico; he briefly discusses the Japanese encampments; he recalls that every three months, laxatives were mixed into the food the braceros were served; he states that initially, there was not a substantial degree of discrimination from Mexican Americans toward the braceros, however, that began to change as the program gained momentum; he is proud to have been a bracero.
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Interview with Gregorio Nuñez by Rochelle Garza, 2006, "Interview no. 1307," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.