Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Mr. Jose Bujanda was born on August 6, 1939, in Granados, Sonora; his father was an animal herder and his mother was a housewife; he had 5 sisters of whom he was the eldest and only son; Mr. Bujanda had a 6 children, only one lives in the United States.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Bujanda education was limited to the third grade because he had to help his father harvest crops; he started working at a very young age in his father’s corn field, his duties included irrigating, planting seeds and harvesting corn; at the age of 15 Mr. Bujanda traveled to Hermosillo to harvest cotton, soon after he traveled to Sonora where he was working as a tractor operator; before becoming a Bracero in 1959, Mr. Bujanda was working as a chauffeur and to this day that is his permanent job; Mr. Bujanda’s first Bracero experience was in Caléxico, California where he harvested beetroot and lettuce, getting a total of $0.90 per hour; he remembers waking up every day at 3 in the morning to shower and eat breakfast, which was always pancakes and eggs; for lunch Mr. Bujanda remembers eating ground beef everyday accompanied by a fruit; in 1960 Mr. Bujanda got re-contracted as a Bracero, this time he was sent to Salinas, California where he harvested lettuce; later he departed to Morgan Hill, California where he worked in a small farm harvesting strawberries; Mr. Bujanda remembers that there was always police roaming around the fields in case that workers started fighting; he states that he was lucky enough to never got sick, and that his boss was always nice in giving sick people the day off; after finishing up his Bracero contract, Mr. Bujanda moved back to Mexico where he met his wife and had 6 children; Mr. Bujanda declares that the Bracero movement had a negative impact in his life, stating that the pay was not good enough and getting fumigated every time he departed to work.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Jose Bujanda by Alejandra Díaz, 2010, "Interview no. 1336," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.