Librado Briceño Domínguez

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Briceño talks about his family and what life was like growing up on a ranch; his older brother, Guadalupe, and a number of his friends and cousins worked as braceros; when Librado was roughly twenty-three years old, he decided to enlist in the bracero program with his brother; they left for Empalme, Sonora, México, and Librado left behind his wife and two children; he describes the process of getting his name on the list of available workers, which included payment, even if not using a coyote; while waiting in Empalme, sometimes for up to two months, he worked on nearby ranches to survive; he was once robbed of all his money and forced to return home; in addition, he talks about the exams he underwent, including being stripped and deloused like an animal; in El Centro, California, he and other men were also distributed to different worksites like animals; as a bracero, he labored in the fields of Arizona, California, and Texas, picking corn, cotton, grapefruit, lemons, lettuce, peaches, strawberries, and tomatoes; he goes on to detail the various worksites, camp sizes, housing, living conditions, amenities, provisions, treatment, payments, remittances, and recreational activities, including trips into town; in Texas he earned less money, because most of the cotton had already rotted; while working in Salinas, California, he and a foreman were involved in a physical altercation, which lead to his transfer; after the program ended, he worked in the United States illegally for a time, but he ultimately returned México with his family.