Cuauhtémoc Z. Cuauhtémoc

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Madrid talks about his hometown and what his life was like growing up; when he went to the center to enlist, contracts were suspended after ten days, and no one knew why; even so, he and others continued to wait; they held on to the belt loops of the people in front of and behind them so no one would get in line in front of them; while waiting, he climbed a tree, picked dates and gave them to the men that did not have food; when contracts resumed, he could not pass, because his papers were not signed; the men he helped feed argued on his behalf, and he was allowed to pass; he was stripped and examined, which was embarrassing, because there were women present; upon crossing into the United States, he was deloused and so were his luggage and clothing; as a bracero, he completed one contract and labored in the fields of Arizona for four months; he goes on to detail the camp size, living conditions, provisions, duties, payments, deductions, remittances, treatment, friendships, correspondence and recreational activities, including trips into town; when he arrived at the camp, it was in very poor condition; there was very little drinking water and nothing but tents; it rained, and all of his belongings were ruined; he could not replace them, because he did not have any money; he also talks about receiving a telegram from his family telling him to come home, because his father was very ill; his boss did not believe him and was reluctant to let him go; when he left his boss told him not to return, because by then it would be too late for any good pickings; although his father eventually recovered, he decided not to return as a bracero.