Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Adolfo Valdez Verduzco was born on September 9, 1931, in Casa Blanca, Sinaloa, Mexico; he is one of six siblings; his father worked in agriculture and his mother was a housewife; when he was a young boy, he helped his family by working in the fields and caring for animals; he was formally educated through the third grade; in 1954, he became a bracero and remained working as such until 1962; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of Imperial Valley, California, Medford, Oregon, and Aguila, Arizona; he later immigrated to the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Valdez Verduzco talks about his hometown of Casa Blanca, Sinaloa, Mexico and what his life was like growing up; his parents moved from Sinaloa to Mexicali, Mexico in search of employment; in 1946, he crossed into the United States illegally; in 1954, he went through the hiring process to become a bracero; in addition, he mentions going through centers in El Centro, Bella Vista, and Santa Clara, California, Mexicali, Mexico and Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; his first contract took him to work in the potato fields of Stockton, California; he returned to Mexico and renewed his contract in Empalme, Sonora, Mexico; he details the harsh conditions he and other men endured while waiting there; the camp was overcrowded; he recalls the entire process, including lists of eligible workers, waiting times, and modes of transportation; as part of the process, he was medically examined and deloused; he recalls that one of the requirements for the braceros was to have calloused hands; many men would rub stones against their hands in order to meet this requirement; his second contract sent him to work in the orchards of Medford, Oregon; he recalls that the braceros were forced to remain stooped over while working in the lettuce fields; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, deductions, remittances and correspondence; he gives his opinion of the braceros from Oaxaca, Mexico; he married and had children after his time as a bracero; in 1966, with the help of his boss, he became a legal United States resident; in 1972, he was able to do the same for his family; although he did suffer as a bracero, his overall memories of the program are positive.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Adolfo Valdez Verduzco by Alma Carrillo, 2006, "Interview no. 1319," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.