Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Belizario Luna was born on June 26, 1936, in Guadalupe Victoria, Durango, México; he was the sixth of eleven children; his father died when he was six years old; he was forced to work in agriculture at the age of thirteen; due to economic hardship, his mother also rented him out as a laborer; in 1951, he enlisted in the Bracero Program and worked in Arizona, California, and Texas; he picked and harvested cotton, lemons, lettuce, and oranges; he did these jobs until 1963.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Luna worked in Arizona, California and Texas from 1951 to 1963; he recalls how he found out about the Bracero Program, the hiring process in rural areas, and the hardship braceros experienced outside contracting centers; additionally, he describes the medical examinations performed on him and the bracero facilities in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México, Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, and Empalme, Sonora, México; he also details his trip to the border and the disinfecting stations he went through; furthermore, he recounts his first farming activities, the different jobs he performed, the different kinds of cotton he picked, and the details of his workdays; he remembers the food they ate, the housing they had, their weekend outings, and the relationships among braceros; moreover, he discusses the contracts they signed, their wages, the methods of payment, and the treatment they received from foremen; beyond daily activities, he recollects a time when he was sick, and the severe weather he experienced in Arizona; he explains his definition of the word bracero, the pride he feels in having taken part in the program, and his sadness when the program was terminated.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Belizario Luna Pulido by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 1009," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.