Bracero Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Richard Hancock was born in Alpine, Texas, on January 19, 1926, but he grew up in New Mexico; he worked with the Foot and Mouth Commission in Jalisco, Mexico; later, he was employed by Doña Ana County as a labor director for the Farm Bureau and as an executive secretary; in both positions with Doña Ana County, he worked directly with the Bracero Program; he eventually went on to receive his doctoral degree and wrote his dissertation on the cultural and economic dynamics of the Bracero Program in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Hancock began working as a labor director for the Farm Bureau in Doña Ana County in May of 1951; because of his ability to speak both Spanish and English, he would communicate with the farmers, braceros, and processing centers; he would determine how many braceros were needed, then contact Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, to schedule the needed number of workers; according to his estimates, there were 600 farmers and 10,000 braceros; he continued working at Rio Vista until 1955, at which point he left to go to Stanford University and complete his doctoral degree; his dissertation dealt with the cultural and economic dynamics of the Bracero Program in Chihuahua, Mexico; in 1959, he graduated and then returned to work as an executive secretary for Doña Ana County, where he again worked with the Bracero Program; he estimates that he worked for a total of about eight years with the program. Length
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Interview with Richard Hancock by Kristine Navarro, 2003, "Interview No. 1558," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.