Tuesday, August 18, 2009
TAFT, CA - 12JUNE09 Taft was once a speculator's boomtown, surrounded by a forest of oil wells, hotbed the state's burgeoning petroleum industry. Today it is a divided community, home to a growing farm worker population, who work in the fields of the southern San Joaquin Valley. Hundreds of families have migrated to Taft from the town of San Pablo Tijaltepec in Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. These Mixtec migrants charge that they are not treated as welcome participants in Taft's town life. Meanwhile, families try to preserve the indigenous Mixtec culture they've brought with them, while working and sending money home to those who depend on remittances from the north to survive.
Mariana Garcia rests in the arms of her uncle, Calixto Garcia.
Juana Gonzalez Silva and Antonia Cruz Silva make panels for shirts and blouses, using the unique embroidery style of their hometown, sitting on the curb of the street outside the apartment house where they live.
Luisa Bautista dresses up her two daughters, Julia Jasmin Lopez and Luz Esbeidy Lopez, in the unique embroidery style of San Pablo Tijaltepec.
Gregoria Cruz holds her daughter, Litzi Margarita Lopez, between her father, Esteban Lopez and her cousin, Jose Silva.
Soledad Lopez, carrying her baby Mariflor Silva on her back, heats up tortillas to eat with chile for dinner, after coming home from work.
Maria Morales stands at the door of the apartment where she lives with her family, coming home from work.
Francisca Santiago Bautista dresses in the embroidered blouse that is the unique to her hometown.
Adelina Lopez holds her son Jorge Bautista in the sling she uses to carry him.