food

Mexican Bracero Food and Foodways: New Mexico and West Texas, 1942-1964

October 6, 2016
4:00 pmto5:30 pm

Browsing Room
Knight Library
1501 Kincaid St.
UO campus

photo-2Please join us October 6, 2016 from 4:00-5:30 in the Browsing Room of the Knight Library for this presentation by Juan Manuel Mendoza Guerrero, Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Mexico

Food was a central concern for the Mexican workers who arrived to the U.S. under the so-called Bracero Program (BP), from 1942-1964 and “braceros’” decisions about migrating, remaining, or returning to their home country. Food was a source of diplomatic controversy between the signatory countries to the BP; at the same time, food served as raw material for those sectors of U.S. society that were opposed to this massive immigration coming from Mexico. Southern New Mexico and West Texas formed a region of intense immigration of Mexican laborers, attracted by the cultivation of cotton, alfalfa, and vegetables. Unlike in California, the food patterns of laborers in this region were influenced by the proximity to Mexico, by the size of farms (smaller than in California), and by the existence of people of Mexican origin who acted as employers. While bracero food in this area did not escape the influence of U.S. national guidelines, which sought to make the tastes and preferences of braceros consistent with “scientific” food, bracero eating habits were a dynamic reflecting disadvantages such as low wages and vulnerabilities in hiring with the ability to cook for themselves and the reality of having Mexico nearby. › Continue reading

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