Mireya Loza


Bracero Oral History

Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee

Custodio Navarrete Cardenas was born in Huazamota, Durango, México in 1932; His parents were farmers and had animals; Mr. Navarrete attended school for a very short period, less than a year; Navarrete had three sisters; they attended school while Mr. Navarrete worked with his father; Mr. Navarrete worked as a bracero picking cotton in Arizona.

Summary of Interview

Custodio Navarrete Cardeas worked with his father caring for animals in the field. Navarrete was hired as a bracero in 1961. He traveled to Calexico in order to know his future work place. The first city where Navarrete worked was in King City, California cutting lettuce and carrots. Navarrete lived with all the other workers close to the work place. He played cards in his free time with other workers, sometimes he won money but sometimes lost the check. Mr. Navarrete went back to Mexico after his contract. Navarrete was shot and was not able to return to work as a bracero. However, Mr. Navarrete returned to the United States without documentation and worked approximately seven years. Due to working in the bracero program he obtained the residency. Working as a bracero changed his life and also he moved with all his family to live in the United States.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

1 hour 17 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1457

Transcript Number

No. 1457

Length of Transcript

40 pages



Interview Number

No. 1457

Terms of Use



Interview in Spanish.