Juan Loza

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Loza recalls his childhood in Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato, México; he explains that he had little formal schooling, and he began working at age eight; additionally, he states that he heard of the bracero program from his godfather, and he approached the mayor of his town to be placed on the bracero list; he recounts his experiences while waiting to be contracted in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México, and how he had to work in order to have a place to stay while waiting for his name to be called; moreover, he relates what the process was like, the rough treatment he received from doctors, the way exams were conducted, and how he was dusted during the disinfection process; he worked as a bracero from 1960 to 1964, picking beets, celery, corn, cucumbers, onions, peanuts, peppers, rice, soybeans, and tomatoes in Arkansas, California, Michigan, and Texas; he talks about what his life was like as a bracero, the living quarters he had, the food he ate, and the way he was treated; furthermore, he narrates how he was denied service at a restaurant in Texas, and he was consequently beaten by a guard; he also recalls another incident in Texas when a group of morenos he worked with attempted to break into his living quarters; in addition, he states that he was treated badly by Mexican-American foremen; in 1968, he returned to the United States as an undocumented worker due to poverty; he concludes by expressing that he is proud to have been a bracero, which ultimately helped him change his life.