Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
José Blanco was born on December 12, 1923, in Canelas, Durango, México; he was formally schooled through the second grade; when he was eight years old, he left his family to work with his father; they farmed together well into his teenage years; later he married and began a family; in 1949, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; as a bracero, he worked picking cotton in New Mexico and Texas.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Blanco recalls his family, childhood, and adolescence; in 1948, he married his wife, and the following year, before the birth of their second child, he decided to enroll in the Bracero Program; he describes how he and a group of men walked through the mountains for three days to get to a town where they could take the train to Durango, Durango, México; from there they traveled to Chihuahua to officially begin the hiring process; he describes the entire hiring and contracting process including the medical exams and disinfecting procedures; as a bracero, he worked picking cotton in New Mexico and Texas; he explains how he picked the cotton, the wages he earned, the methods of payment, and how he was able to obtain amendments and extensions to his contracts; in addition, he tells what daily life was like on the farms including the housing and food; in general, he was treated well by his American employers; he also recalls his return trip to México; overall, he benefited greatly from the program, and he concludes that he is proud to have been a part of it.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with José Guadalupe Blanco Ortega by Laureano Martínez, 2003, "Interview no. 996," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.