Adriana Moreno Nevarez and Noeli Serna
Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Lorenzo Cano, born in 1925 in El Corazon, Durango, Mexico, worked as a bracero for eleven years, his first contract secured at the age of 18. He worked in various fields, including cotton picking in Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri; laying ties on the railroad to New York; manufacturing shell casings in a factory in Illinois; and as a farmworker picking lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and pears in California. His three brothers also participated in the bracero program, although they were never sent to work together. He recalls encountering very difficult living conditions (no lighting nor plumbing in drafty shacks and railroad boxcars) for minimal pay, especially in the cotton and farm fields where he was paid by weight, as opposed to an hourly wage in the factory and railroad. Notwithstanding the deprivations endured, he is proud of his strong work ethic which earned him a "mayordomo" position in the factory, and an opportunity to not only send considerable remittances home but also to save a sizable nest egg for him and his new bride.
Summary of Interview
Interview in Spanish
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Interview with Lorenzo Cano by Adriana Moreno Nevarez and Noeli Serna, 2011, "Interview no. 1475," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.