2017 Bracero History Summit, September 22 & 23

July 31, 2017 by Sehila Casper


Thank you to everyone who already registered for the conference for the 2017 Bracero History Summit. The response has been overwhelming, and we are now at full capacity for Friday. Although it is no longer possible to register directly on our Eventbrite page, please email Sehila Casper at scasper@savingplaces.org should you like to attend Saturday’s event at Rio Vista Farm.

Sí cambió la vida porque se hace uno más, más responsable...Es la vida, hay que valuarla como la va uno viviendo, así es esto.
- Raúl Canela, former bracero

About 2017 Bracero History Summit

2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the 1942 U.S. Bracero Program executive order and the first group of braceros that entered through El Paso, Texas to work in the sugar beet harvest in Stockton, California. Though the program ended decades ago, millions of Mexican-Americans can trace their roots to their fathers' or grandfathers' entry into the U.S. as braceros.

This September, the first ever national Bracero History Summit will be held in El Paso to honor this anniversary and to highlight nationally-significant yet relatively unknown bracero history. Presented by the National Trust, this event will be held in partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the Smithsonian Institute, the City of Socorro, and Latinos in Heritage Conservation.

When: Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd

Where: El Paso, Texas

  • Friday: UTEP Campus - Union Services Building East, 351 W. University Ave. El Paso, TX 79968
  • Saturday: Rio Vista Farm - Rio Vista Community Center, 901 Rio Vista Road, Socorro, TX 79927

Who: Everyone is welcome! Living Braceros, Historians, Preservationists, Educators, Students, Researchers, Government Officials, Civil Rights Activists, Agricultural Groups, Families, and all interested people across the country.

How to Attend: Space is limited, register today!

Cost: Free and open to the public, though we do request that you register in advance.


Join us for a rare and exciting opportunity to attend a two-day event that will bring multiple perspectives and presenters from across the country to explore the significance of the Bracero Program in the larger historical and contemporary narrative. Along with educational sessions, the summit will include an up-close tour of the ongoing preservation efforts at Rio Vista Farm in Socorro, Texas (outside of El Paso), a National Treasure and the last-known Bracero Reception and Processing site.

In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the Bracero Program that has resulted in contemporary analysis, discourse, cultural practice, and heritage work surrounding the 1942-1964 U.S. government program. Through a series of panel discussions, research presentations, a museum exhibit, and multi-media presentations to critically examine the Bracero Program. The 2017 Bracero History Summit will encourage critical consideration of a wide range of topics, including:

  • 75th year anniversary and program reflection
  • Personal accounts from living braceros
  • Contemporary analysis of farm workers, political and social issues, policy, worker rights, and transnational living
  • Place-based preservation work at the first U.S. contracting site, Rio Vista Farm
  • Identifying new research opportunities

Friday, September 22 - UTEP Campus, El Paso, TX
Union Services Building East, 351 W. University Ave. El Paso, TX 79968

8:30 a.m. – Registration Opens
9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Session
10:00 a.m. – Morning Educational and Panel Session
12:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 p.m. – Bracero Museum Exhibition
2:50 p.m. – Bracero Documentary Short Film
3:30 p.m. – Afternoon Educational and Panel Session
5:00 p.m. – Facilitated Q&A
5:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks and Future Work

Saturday, September 23 – Rio Vista Farm, Socorro, TX
Rio Vista Community Center, 901 Rio Vista Road, Socorro, TX 79927

10:00 a.m. – Welcome
10:00 a.m. – Accounts from Former Braceros
10:45 a.m. – Contemporary Context of Migrant Farmworkers
11:30 a.m. – Historic Walking Tour
12:30 p.m. – Lunch
1:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks

“¿Usted como se siente que le digan bracero?”
“¡Uh! Me siento muy bien, muy bien, porque no entré de malandrín ni a robar, ni – entré a trabajar y como trabajador salí, y volví a entrar, y sigo igual, en la misma.”
- Antonio Olivares Samaniego, former bracero


We have a special discount price of $109 at the Hilton Garden Inn located at the entrance to the University of Texas El Paso campus, and just a short walk to the UTEP Union Services building.

Hilton Garden Inn El Paso / University
111 W University Ave, El Paso, TX 79902 US
Rate: $109 +tax per night

Reservations: (915) 351-2121

When making your hotel reservation online use the Bracero History Summit Group Code: UNTHP

Discount price is for Sep 21 - Sep 24, 2017
Group Cut Off Date: August 20

Interviews, Videotaping, and Photography Policy

Please note that this summit may be photo documented and videotaped for later use. As a result, all individuals attending this event may be videotaped. By attending this event you hereby give the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the University of Texas at El Paso permission to record or photograph you and grant all rights to use them in electronic, social, and print media and communication for public or internal purpose in support of both institution’s mission. You also hereby waive any rights to compensation and agree that all rights to video and images the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the University of Texas at El Paso. Should you have questions about this policy, please email us at scasper@savingplaces.org.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We still have presenting sponsorship opportunities available! The Bracero History Summit is a unique and customizable event with exposure to a notable audience through various sponsorship and in-kind opportunities such as an evening reception, transportation, or hosted lunch. For more information, please contact Sehila Mota Casper at scasper@savingplaces.org or 832.871.5258.

Questions? ¿Preguntas?

Please contact Sehila Mota Casper, Field Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation, scasper@savingplaces.org.
Información disponible en español. Por favor comunicarse con Sehila Mota Casper, scasper@savingplaces.org.

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