2018 Messages

During this year’s National Farmworker Awareness Week we are highlighting documentary work by Student Action with Farmworkers' Into the Fields interns who work with farmworkers in the southeast each summer. Through participatory documentary workshops, students and farmworkers share stories and learn about each others' lives. These messages from farmworkers from the summer of 2017 represent the many different struggles farmworkers face, one for each day of awareness.

Saturday March 24 | 13 HOURS EACH DAY WITHOUT RESTING
Sunday March 25 | YOU WORK EVEN HARDER
Monday March 26 | LIFE
Tuesday March 27 | I'M ONE MORE PERSON
Wednesday March 28 | I'M AWAY FROM MY FAMILY
Thursday March 29 | THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS AND MANY SACRIFICES
Friday March 30 | SUN UP TO SUN DOWN
Saturday March 31 | PUSH AHEAD

13 HOURS EACH DAY WITHOUT RESTING
Saturday, March 24

"Although it’s so very hot, even so we work 13 hours each day without resting a single day, planting and picking fruits and vegetables so that people here can eat. Well, the truth is that we suffer a lot by being here..."

Take Action:
+ Help protect farmworkers in your state. Participate in the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) long sleeve shirt drive by collecting long sleeve shirts and bringing them to a drop-off site in your state, or by organizing a drop-off location in your community.
 

YOU WORK EVEN HARDER
Sunday, March 25

"It’s very hard to be here because you have to make a lot of sacrifices, like leaving your family, but for them you make the effort and well, work is hard and the heat is intense. But, you think about your family, and nothing matters and you work even harder."

Take Action:
+ Sign the petition to pass a clean Dream Act now to keep families together and protect immigrant children, or start a grassroots campaign of your own through United We Dream.
 

LIFE
Monday, March 26

"Your life is not the same as ours. We have to work very hard for a very long time. We work a minimum of 10 hours a day in the sun. Also, to come all the way here we have to travel for many hours and days. When we come to work we leave our family. We miss what we did in Mexico, being with our family, with our parents. Not having much freedom like we had in Mexico because we don’t know this place."

Take Action:
+ Urge your representative to ban the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos.
 

I'M ONE MORE PERSON
Tuesday, March 27

"I’m one more person who comes to this country looking for a better life for myself and my family. During the months I’ve been with this company I’ve worked with different plants and vegetables… I miss Oaxaca [Mexico], my wife and my son. But what makes me happy is that they are doing better."

Take Action:
+ Pledge to boycott Wendy's, and spread the word. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has organized a boycott of Wendy's, who has refused to join the Fair Food Program, and buys tomatoes from Mexico, where farmworkers are continuously denied basic human rights.

I'M AWAY FROM MY FAMILY
Wednesday, March 28

"I’m away from my family for eight months to come work in this country. Work here is very hard because we have to work ten to twelve hours a day. The work helps me support my family, but I am happy because I’m reaching my goal of having a house of my own."

Take Action:
+ Go out and continuously support your local Latinx community by dining at a local Latinx restaurant, shopping at a Latinx owned grocery store, or purchasing from a Latinx owned panaderia.

 

THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS AND MANY SACRIFICES
Thursday, March 29

"Well, thanks to this work that we do every day, on the one hand there are many benefits and many sacrifices... The work that I like the most is picking peaches. Well, it’s not that easy but first we need to learn to cut. In order to harvest peaches the first thing is to know the color and size the boss is asking for, and also you have to carry the weight of the sack we use to collect the peaches. After you have learned, you have to carry the ladder. This work is very beautiful."

Take Action:
+ Sign the petition asking major convenience stores to drop VUSE as part of FLOC's national boycott of VUSE e-cigarettes.
 

SUN UP TO SUN DOWN
Friday, March 30

"Life here is very hard when we harvest fruits and vegetables. The sun burns so much and we get weak, and you get irritated from so much heat. And despite that we have to work all day putting up with the fatigue, dehydration and hunger. I’ll also tell you that it’s very sad to be far from our land which is Mexico… and our loved ones like my parents, my wife and my son. But we’re here working hard so that we can support our family… and well, it’s very hard to be a farmworker, and sad because you work from sun up to sundown in the fields."

Take Action:
Sign the pledge to support the UFW's legislation to obtain fair overtime for all farm workers in the United States

PUSH AHEAD
Saturday, March 31

"The work here is very hard because for one fruit or vegetable to get to the table of American families and many other places there is a process, and that starts with us, farmworkers. I know people from other places, people who over time become like your family because you spend a lot of time with them. It’s the daily routine. From your home to work and from work to your home. You miss your family very much, but when I think about my family and the goals I want to reach I want to push ahead."

Take Action:
+ In honor of Cesar Chavez's birthday, participate in the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge. Organize a Blood Drive in your community, and register to officially be part of the national campaign.