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Home » Food History

Bittersweet Harvest

Submitted by on April 28, 2015 – 8:55 amNo Comment

iowa_braceroWe often overlook the people who gather what we eat. “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942 -1964“, a bilingual exhibition, explores the bracero program, the largest guest worker program in American history.

It’s open through May 17, 2015, in the Living History Farms Visitor Center, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, Iowa.

Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican nationals came to the United States on short-term labor contracts, which offered them much needed work and economic opportunity. The exhibition explores the braceros’ contributions to communities in Mexico and the U.S., the opportunities that became available to braceros and the challenges that they faced as guest workers during the war years and afterward.

Included in the exhibition are 15 free-standing banners featuring oral histories, quotes and photographs by Leonard Nadel, a photographer who, in 1956, exposed employer violations endured by many braceros.

Now through April 30, 2015, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays (the Visitor Center and MarketPlace Museum Store are open, but the rest of the museum is closed). From May 1 (when the farms open for the season) through 17, 2015, this exhibit will be included for free with general admission.

(Photo by Leonard Nadel courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

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