Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Selerina Landeros was born on ranch in Guanajuato, México, on February 13, 1921; she is the youngest of her twelve siblings; her parents were agriculturalists, and her father was a caretaker for several large ranches; she was formally educated for a year; later, in 1937, she married Dionisio Landeros; he enlisted in the bracero program in 1943; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of California picking almonds and oranges until 1945; during that time, they had four children; in 1957, the family immigrated to the United States, and they had four more children, eight in total.
Summary of Interview
Mrs. Landeros briefly mentions her family; she describes meeting and marrying her husband, Dionisio Landeros, in 1937; in addition, she talks about the agrarian reform that led to the land distribution in which her father, brothers and husband obtained land; later, in 1943, Dionisio decided to enlist in the bracero program; he initially signed up for the program in León, Guanajuato, México before traveling to Guanajuato, Guanajuato, México to begin the contracting process; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of California picking almonds and oranges until 1945; his first contract took him to Sacramento, California to pick almonds for two and a half years; rather than return to México, he continued to renew his contracts in California; during his second contract, he worked in San Bernardino, California; he wrote letters to Selerina and told her to send their eldest son to school; when she did, her father-in-law kept getting angry and taking him back home; Dionisio even sent him money, but he never gave any to Selerina; in order to survive, she sold goods at a small grocery store on a ranch; she also explains that their land was contracted out by her in-laws when Dionisio was gone; during that time, they had four children, and their eldest was often hit by her father-in-law; in order to avoid problems, Dionisio sent for her, and in 1957, the family immigrated to the United States; they lived in Chicago, Illinois for a time, before finally settling in Arizona; she goes on to describe their life after the program; they went on to have four more children, eight in total.
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Interview with Selerina Landeros by Alejandra Díaz, 2008, "Interview no. 1350," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.