Miguel Ortega


Violeta Domínguez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Miguel Ortega was born in Miacatlán, Morelos, México; his father worked in sugar cane fields; at the age of twelve, he joined his father in the fields; he was in the Bracero Program from 1957 to 1964; he worked in Arizona packing lettuce and in California cutting celery.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Ortega recalls his childhood in Miacatlán, Morelos, México; he states that when he was twelve years old, he began working with his father in sugar cane fields; additionally, he remembers that he moved to Empalme, Sonora, México in 1957 to secure a bracero contract; he relates the help he received there while waiting to enlist in the program, and the process he encountered at the contracting center; furthermore, he remembers his trip to the United States-México border, and how he was treated at the processing center in El Centro, California; he details how the fumigation process was carried out, and how their paper work was created; moreover, he recounts working in Arizona and California packing lettuce and cutting celery; he discusses what his daily workload was like, and the physical difficulties the work entailed; to conclude, he reflects on what his life would have been like had he stayed in the U.S. after the program was done.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

116 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1054

Transcript Number

No. 1054

Length of Transcript

74 pages

Interview Number

No. 1054

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.