Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Alberto Mendoza was born on September 7, 1933, in Tizapotla, Morelos, México; his father fought in the Mexican Revolution under Emiliano Zapata’s army; he inherited land from his father, but suffered many hardships with it due to droughts and floods; later, he worked in a chalk factory; he joined the Bracero Program in 1959, and worked in Arizona, California and Texas.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Mendoza recalls his childhood in Tizapotla, Morelos, México, and memories of his father, a soldier in Emiliano Zapata’s army during the Mexican Revolution; he remembers the hardships he suffered while working the land his father left him, and the impact bad weather had on his farming; additionally, he details how he worked in factories, and his decision to join the Bracero Program; he enlisted in 1959, and relates the process he went through to get hired in Cuernavaca, Morelos, México, as well as the fumigation performed on him at the United States border; he describes working in Arizona, California, and Texas picking strawberries and other crops; he discusses his life in the program, and how he was forced to return to México when he became ill due to the food they received in the camps; furthermore, he states that he returned to the U.S. as an undocumented worker after the program was terminated; he concludes by expressing his disappointment at not having made the most of his opportunities during the program, and not having saved more money.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Alberto Mendoza Torres by Violeta Domínguez, 2006, "Interview no. 1053," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.