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Bracero Program: Unveiling Stories

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Cultures +3 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

In this activity, students will examine photographs documenting the Bracero Program, the largest guest-worker program in US history. Started in 1942 as a temporary war measure to address labor demands in agriculture and railroads, the program allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and 24 other states. By the time the program ended in 1964, over 4.6 million contracts were awarded.

Using two Project Zero Global Thinking Routines - "Unveiling Stories" and "The 3 Ys" - students will analyze the stories these photographs tell about the experiences of braceros in this program, and the impact of these stories in multiple contexts. Additional resources (primary sources, a digital exhibition, and an article) and information on how to use these routines in the classroom can by found by clicking Read More ».

Keywords: mexican, immigration, work, migration, migrant workers, agriculture, reform, politics, government, leonard nadel, photojournalism, activity, inquiry strategy, global competency, global competence, latino, chicano, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, 1940s, 40s, 1950s, 50s, 1960s, 60s

#LatinoHAC

Bracero on Lettuce Truck

National Museum of American History

Bracero Family in Mexico

National Museum of American History

Braceros Receiving Documents

National Museum of American History

Braceros Waiting at Processing Center

National Museum of American History

Braceros Getting Processed

National Museum of American History

Checking Bracero's Hands

National Museum of American History

Physical Examination of Braceros

National Museum of American History

Physical Examination of Braceros

National Museum of American History

Braceros Crossing Bridge

National Museum of American History

Braceros at Camp

National Museum of American History

Bracero Living Quarter Entrance

National Museum of American History

Braceros Attending Mass

National Museum of American History

Bracero Unloading Cotton

National Museum of American History

Bracero Loading Cotton

National Museum of American History

Braceros Loading Lettuce

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Pepper Field

National Museum of American History

Bracero in Pepper Field

National Museum of American History

Braceros Working with Short-Handled Hoes

National Museum of American History

Braceros at Meal Time

National Museum of American History

Bracero in Field

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Field

National Museum of American History

Bracero in Field

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Town

National Museum of American History

Braceros Examining Paychecks

National Museum of American History

Bracero Paycheck

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Living Quarter

National Museum of American History

Bracero Reading a Book

National Museum of American History

Braceros Playing Dominoes

National Museum of American History

Bracero Writing a Letter

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Living Quarter

National Museum of American History

Bracero Reading a Book

National Museum of American History

Braceros in Living Quarter

National Museum of American History

The 3Ys: Project Zero Global Competency Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access