A Bracero Remembers Working Near Chicago

Having heard about successful braceros, Salvador Esparza Carreño decided to enlist in the bracero program in 1945. He worked as a railroad worker, in the fields cutting asparagus, and as a camp cook. He describes his work and leisure time in and around Chicago in a camp of about 150 bracero railroad workers repairing track. He recalls entering the U.S. around the time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom he called "energetic," died. This interview was translated from the original Spanish.


Focus Questions
Braceros in the United States

Why did braceros choose to come to the United States?

What challenges did braceros face in the United States?

How did braceros adapt to life in the United States? Did they resist, and why?

Source | Laureano Martínez, "Salvador Esparza Carreño," in Bracero History Archive, Item #218, http://braceroarchive.org/items/show/218 (accessed 26 January 2010), translated by Tony Paulino.
Creator | Bracero History Archive
Interviewer | Laureano Martinez
Interviewee | Salvador Esparza Carreno
Item Type | Oral History
Cite This document | Bracero History Archive, “A Bracero Remembers Working Near Chicago,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 15, 2014, http://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1447.