Abrazando el Espíritu

Abrazando el Espíritu

Ana Elizabeth Rosas

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780520282667

Publisher: University of California Press

Abstract

Embracing the Spirit/Abrazando El Espíritu is an interdisciplinary investigation of the underestimated emotional, physical, and financial exploitation framing the U.S. and Mexican governments’ conceptualization and implementation of the binational mid-twentieth-century guest-worker program most commonly known as the Bracero Program in the United States and Mexico. The oral life histories, correspondence, photographs, songs of love, and writing of Mexican children, women, and men—bracero families recruited to participate and sustain this contract labor program—renders a history that reveals these governments’ overdependence on these families’ spirited confrontation of a most inhumane family situation at the margins of U.S. and Mexican society. Being separated from each other across the U.S.-Mexico border for indefinite periods of time—without adequate information, protections, resources, rights, wages, or guarantees of ever seeing each other again—paved the way for these children, women, and men becoming daringly honest, invested, and ingenious in their pursuit of a humane and just family life that often transcended state-manufactured conceptualizations of borders and contract labor. Indeed, the bracero family experience is at heart a history about the hard truths of Mexican immigrant family separation.