Myrna Parra-Mantilla


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Rodolfo Aranda Morales was born in Morelos, Chihuahua, México; he began working with the Bracero Program in 1953; as a bracero, he worked in the cotton and beet fields of Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming; he continued working as a bracero until 1962.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Aranda recalls that up to 10,000 braceros were hired per day in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México; in Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro Texas, the braceros were separated according to which state they were from because this was thought to have a direct correlation with their skills; many farmers did not like to hire braceros from the south of México, because they did not have enough experience; in general, the braceros from the south of México earned much less than those from the north; Mr. Aranda often sent money orders to his family, but due to problems he encountered, he began using bank checks instead; while working in the cotton fields, he became ill and was hospitalized; he recalls how each bracero had to pay $2.00 for the bags that they would use to collect the cotton they had picked for that day; Mr. Aranda worked as a bracero for nearly ten years, from 1953 to 1962.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

62 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1118

Transcript Number

No. 1118

Length of Transcript

30 pages

Interview Number

No. 1118

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.