Mireya Loza


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Mr. Federico Navarro Duran was born in Cuerámaro, Guanajuato, Mexico on March 2, 1929; he was one of nine children; his father worked in agriculture; he worked in the fields when he was a small child; he was formally educated through the second grade; in 1952, he became a bracero and worked in the lemon fields in California; he also worked in Denver Colorado, Glendale Arizona, and Pecos, Texas; he married his wife Ester, when he was seventeen years old; he and his family later immigrated to the United States.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Navarro talks about his hometown and working in agriculture and with livestock while growing up; he married Ester and shortly thereafter he decided to enlist in the bracero program; Mr. Navarro discusses his family life in detail; he further discusses the death of his two young daughters; he went through the contracting center in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico; from there he travelled to a camp called Las Animas; from there, he was sent to Benjamin Hill; in addition, he mentions going through the contraction centers in Empalme Sonora, Mexico, Hermosillo, Mexico and Chihuahua, Mexico; as part of the process, he was medically examined, vaccinated, and deloused; upon being hired he was sent to Oxnard, California; he worked in the fields picking lemons; Mr. Navarro talks about the living conditions at the Oxnard camp; he returned to Mexico for a brief time; he later re-contracted with the program; he picked tomatoes in Tracy, California and he picked cotton in Pecos, Texas; Mr. Navarro also worked in the fields of Denver, Colorado picking cabbage, cucumber, and corn; he goes on to detail the remittances and correspondence to his wife and parents; Mr. Navarro discusses the ten percent deduction from his pay; Mr. Navarro talks about going to the movies for entertainment; he also talks about laboring in the fields and the long hours; with the help of his boss, he and his family legally emigrate to the United States; his overall feeling about the bracero program are positive.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

58 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1303

Transcript Number

No. 1303

Length of Transcript

26 pages

Interview Number

No. 1303

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.