Learn more about Hispanic heritage and history by visiting our research guide to the Bracero Program. Facing labor shortages on the home front during World War II, the United States initiated a series of agreements with Mexico to recruit guest workers for American farms and railroads. The Emergency Farm Labor Program, more familiarly known as the Bracero Program, enabled approximately 2 million Mexicans to enter the United States. While the work was often grueling, the program offered participants economic opportunity. The contributions made by these laborers have had significant impact on the political, economic, and social climate of both the United States and Mexico.
“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” is a set of six bilingual posters with images and interviews by documentary photographer Leonard Nadel. The goal of the exhibition is to celebrate the impact and achievements of migrant farmworkers by telling the stories behind the Braceros. “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964” was organized by the National Museum of American History in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.