Raúl Canela


Mireya Loza


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Raúl Canela was born on June 19, 1940, in Emiliano Zapata, Michoacán, México; he received formal education and finished secondary schooling; at age fourteen, he began working in agriculture; at age twenty-two, he joined the Bracero Program; he worked in California picking tomatoes.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Canela recalls growing up in Emiliano Zapata, Michoacán, México; he states that he attended formal schooling through the high school level, and afterwards began working in agriculture; additionally, he explains that he joined the Bracero Program at age twenty-two; as a bracero, he worked in California picking tomatoes; he describes the hiring process at Empalme, Sonora, México, the medical exams he endured, and the disinfection process; furthermore, he details what daily life was like on the camp, the length of his work week, and the treatment he received; he remembers that the braceros would often play soccer and boxing for entertainment, and that sometimes their boss would take them into town to watch movies; moreover, he recounts that he sent money to his mother every week; after the program finished, he expresses that he returned to the United States as an undocumented worker; to conclude, he states that he acquired U.S. citizenship in 1970.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

32 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1113

Transcript Number

No. 1113

Length of Transcript

16 pages

Interview Number

No. 1113

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.