Tuesday, January 1, 2013

IT'S THE ONLY JOB I KNOW HOW TO DO: The Life of an Immigrant Farm Worker

Read this David Bacon interview of Lorena Hernandez, a young farm worker and single mother from Oaxaca, Mexico. Today she lives in Madera, Calif., with her daughter and aunt.

The interview begins "To go pick blueberries I have to get up at four in the morning. First I make my lunch to take with me, and then I get dressed for work. For lunch I eat whatever there is in the house, mostly bean tacos. Then the ritero, the person who gives me a ride to work, picks me up at 20 minutes to five. I work as long as my body can take it, usually until 2:30 in the afternoon. Then the ritero gives me a ride home, and I get there by 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. By then I'm really tired."

Lorena sums it all up in stark, and sad, terms:  "So here I am, working in the fields because it's the only job there is for someone like me."

Happy New Year!

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