The Holocaust Museum of Houston has opened its first bilingual exhibition that showcases the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. The Bracero Program brought millions of Mexican nationals north to work on short-term labor contracts. The work was backbreaking and living conditions poor, but the program offered Mexican men economic opportunities and much-needed work. Their contributions to communities in Mexico and the U.S. have had a lasting impact on the political, economic, social, and cultural landscapes of both nations.
The exploitation of bracero workers and violations of their legal rights and civil liberties prompted efforts to repeal the program. In 1956, photographer Leonard Nadel documented the harsh realities of bracero life, intending to highlight employer violations and improve bracero working conditions. We had the opportunity to talk to Steve Vazquez, the curator of the exhibition “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964.” that is currently on view at the Holocaust Museum.
Posted: January 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm