Eusebio Hernandez


Grisel Murillo


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Eusebio Hernandez was born on December 16, 1934, in Cuquío, Jalisco, México; growing up, most of his time was spent traveling between his hometown and Guadalajara during planting seasons; consequently, he received very little formal education; in 1958, he enlisted in the bracero program where he worked in the fields with crops such as beets, cotton, lettuce, and onions; he continued on and off with the program until 1962.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Hernandez briefly mentions his family, childhood, and adolescence; while working at a gas station in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, he heard about contracts for the bracero program; in order to receive the proper documentation for the program he had to pick two thousand kilograms of cotton before being sent to the contracting center in Empalme, Sonora; he describes the journey from the centers to the border and the physical exams and delousing process he underwent as rude and embarrassing; as a bracero he worked in the fields with crops such as beets, cotton, lettuce, and onions; furthermore, he details the difficulty of working while hunched over with a short hoe for hours at a time and the subsequent back problems he developed; he also talks about being paid 65¢ an hour, and in addition to taxes, having to pay $1.75 per day for food; there was one incident when he was not paid, but after bringing it to the foreman’s attention, the situation was soon resolved; in addition, he recalls a situation where a bracero was physically and verbally abused by an employer; he also mentions conflicts between the braceros themselves; the cooks, for example, earned a little more money and often mistreated those who worked in the fields; while he was a bracero his sister moved to Mexicali, Baja California, México, and he was able to visit her on weekends; he continued working on and off with the program until 1962, at which point he immigrated to the United States and began working as a tailor; during the midnineties, he was able to obtain citizenship; he concludes by stating that braceros had a positive effect on the nation as a whole.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

63 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1226

Transcript Number

No. 1226

Length of Transcript

25 pages

Interview Number

No. 1226

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.