Mireya Loza


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Mr. Chan-noh was born 1926, in Cansahcab, México; he is the youngest of five children; his father worked for the railroad and his mother was a housewife; his mother died when he was young and he was sent to live with his sister; he received very little formal education; he was eighteen years old when he first heard of the bracero program in México City, México; as a bracero he labored in the fields of San Joaquín, California and Sacramento, California picking green beans, strawberries, apricots and lettuce; he labored in the fields of Yuma, Arizona picking cotton; as a bracero, he also worked in Texas taking care of baby ostriches; he returned to Yucatán after his last contract.

Summary of Interview

Mr. Chan-noh briefly recalls his childhood and the financial difficulties he and his family endured; he married at the age of seventeen; when he was eighteen years old he enlisted in the Mexican military; he heard about the bracero program while in the military; he went through the hiring process several years later; he recalls the entire process, including that he recruited forty to fifty men from his hometown to join the bracero program; in addition, he mentions going through the processing center in Empalme, Sonora, México; he recalls that one of the requirements for the braceros was to have calloused hands; he estimates that there were 30,000 to 40,000 men waiting to be processed; he recalls the embarrassment he felt during the physical exams and how rudely they were conducted; he was sent to work in the fields of San Joaquín, California; he goes on to detail provisions, duties, remittances, treatment, friendships, and correspondence; in addition he describes taking care of three hundred to four hundred baby ostriches in Texas and how difficult the work was; despite the hardships that he endured, he explains that the most difficult part of the process was leaving his daughter to join the bracero program; Mr. Chan-noh concludes that he is very proud to have worked with the Bracero program.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

43 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1389

Transcript Number

No. 1389

Length of Transcript

35 pages



Interview Number

No. 1389

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.