Pedro Rivera

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Rivera Duran briefly talks about his hometown and what his life was like growing up; he briefly recalls his family and his childhood; he remembers hearing stories about the bracero program and decided to join; he went through the hiring process at San Luis de la Paz to become a bracero; he traveled from Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico to Mexicali; he briefly describes the transportation and the required documents; as part of the process, he was medically examined, vaccinated, and deloused; he spent most of his time in the San Fernando Valley and Escondido, California; he worked in the citrus groves of San Fernando and he picked avocado in Escondido, California; he says the braceros worked approximately eight hours a day, six days a week; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, treatment, friendships, and recreational activities; on Sundays, he and his friends would get written permission to go into town; they would go to the movies and to dances; he states that he spent the majority of his pay on woman and alcohol; on occasion, some of the braceros had altercations; some braceros were allowed to transfer to other camps if they did not like where they were stationed; as a bracero, he did not feel discriminated against; after the program ended he worked in the lettuce and melon fields in the California Valley; with the help of his boss, he became a legal United States resident; he never returned to Mexico; Mr. Rivera Duran concludes that he is very proud to have worked with the Bracero Program.