Laureano Martinez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Carlos Sánchez Montoya was born on September 11, 1918, in Gómez Palacio, Durango, México; his family moved to Guadalupe Victoria, Durango, which is where he grew up; later as a teenager, his family moved to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; while living in Juárez, he began working in construction; he later worked as a bracero in New Mexico and Colorado from 1945 to 1963.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Sánchez recalls his childhood and early adolescence; he began helping his father work in the fields when he was fourteen years old; a severe draught at that time caused his family to move from Guadalupe Victoria, Durango, México, to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; while there, he began working in construction; he explains how he learned of the Bracero Program and the hiring process he went through at the contracting center in Chihuahua, Chihuahua; from there, he was taken to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, where he was medically examined; he describes what the living conditions on the farms were like, the kinds of food they cooked, what their hobbies were, and what they did on weekends and during their spare time; his work duties included picking cotton and lettuce, irrigating cotton fields, and cleaning sugar beet fields in New Mexico and Colorado; he also explains the different wages he earned and how he was able to extend his contract without having to leave the country; in addition, he concludes that the Bracero Program is what enabled him to obtain legal residency in the United States and ultimately citizenship.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

81 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1140

Transcript Number

No. 1140

Length of Transcript

41 pages

Interview Number

No. 1140

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.