1501 Kincaid St.
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.
Juan Manuel Mendoza Guerrero received his PhD from the Borderlands History Program at the University of Texas, El Paso. He has taught at the Monterrey Institute of Technology. He won the national award for research on foreign trade (Mexico, 2003), and the Fellowship Mexico-North Research Network. He currently teaches at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Mexico. He is a member of the Mexican National System of Researchers (SNI). His areas of interest are migration, ethnic businesses, and studies of food and poverty. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Latin America and Border Studies at New Mexico State University. He is Co-PI on the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research-funded project, “Transit Migration through Mexico’s Ruta Pacifica,” along with Kristin Yarris (UO, International Studies) and Heide Castañeda (Univ. South Florida).
This event is sponsored by: The Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS), The Department of International Studies, and Food Studies.
Light refreshments will be served