Eberto Enríquez

Interview in Spanish.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Enríquez describes his family and what it was like growing up in Bacerac, Sonora, México; after learning about the bracero program, he took a bus to the contracting center in Empalme, Sonora, México, in order to enlist; he details the difficulties he encountered while there, as well as the medical exams and other procedures he underwent; from there, he was transported by train to Mexicali, Baja California, and then to El Centro, California; upon entering the United States, he was examined again, stripped naked, and fumigated; before being allowed to dress, he was photographed for his mica card; he was then taken to Holtville, California, where he learned how to pick carrots; while there, he was paid up to 30¢ per box that he picked, and he could earn as much as $14.00 a day; he also details the barracks where he and a number of other braceros lived; this was often problematic, because there was too much noise to sleep; more specifically, he mentions that police were frequently there, because female prostitutes were in the barracks; in addition, he talks about an incident of mistaken identity which led to a bar fight; he goes on to describe the various places he worked, duties, daily routines, provisions, and recreational activities; moreover, he notes that braceros and undocumented workers often labored side by side; he concludes that although he was not able to save very much money, he still has positive memories of the program.