Marcelino Burcíaga


Mario Sifuentez


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Marcelino Burcíaga was born on September 24, 1938, in Canatlan, Durango, México; his father was a carpenter and a shoemaker; he is the youngest of three brothers; from 1961 to 1962, he worked as a bracero in California picking cucumbers, green beans, lemons, and oranges.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Burcíaga recalls growing up in Canatlan, Durango, México; he states that his father was a carpenter and a shoemaker; at an early age, he began working in agriculture; he states that in 1961 he decided to join the bracero program because of financial difficulties; he describes being contracted in Mexicali, Baja California, México and being sent to Empalme, Sonora, México for processing; while in Empalme, he states that he was given thorough medical exams; he details the treatment he received in that center, and then he explains how he was transported to the United States-México border; once he became a bracero, he worked in California picking cucumbers, green beans, lemons, and oranges from 1961 to 1962; furthermore, he relates what a typical workday was for him as a bracero, the type of work that he did, and how he was treated by foremen; he also discusses the pay he received for his labor and the food he was given; moreover, he states what he did for recreation, and how he would spend his days off doing laundry and going to the movies; he remembers saving money and having ten percent of his pay deducted from each paycheck; he concludes by explaining what the program meant for him.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

33 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1209

Transcript Number

No. 1209

Length of Transcript

23 pages

Interview Number

No. 1209

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.