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Lighthouse Project

What We Do: Estimated 12,000 farmworkers toil in fields of Immokalee

By Tracy X. Miguel - naplesnews.com April 22, 2012


Cristobal Calzada Guillen, 59, waits on the bus headed to a farm in Immokalee on April 3. Calzada Guillen has been a farmworker in Immokalee for 32 years, making $600 to $700 a month. He is currently helping harvest citrus at D&K Harvesting. Cristobal Calzada Guillen has spent more than half of his life picking crops in the fields near Immokalee. For the past 32 years, waking up at the crack of dawn to work under the sun, rain or cold has become his routine. "It's hard," the 59-year-old man said in Spanish.

Senate Bill 1070


After standing in a state of unknown for the past two years, the United States has finally taken up the historic immigration and civil rights case, Arizona vs. United States.  At the heart of the issue lies Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070). To the dismay of many advocates and allies within the immigrant rights community, the court case solely focused on whether or not the federal

Woman to Woman Conference


3rd Annual Woman to Woman Conference was a huge success!


With over 100 women and their children in attendance, this year's Conference will be one for the records!  The Farmworker Association of Florida, in partnership with the Women's Studies Department at the University of Central Florida, the Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farmworker Ministry,

Call your Senators


We need the 2501 to help farmers move out
of poverty, save farms , and create jobs.

The senate ag. committee will probably present its farm bill mark up this week. It is believed that section 2501 will not be included. Section 2501 provides outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged  farmers and communities around farming and agriculture related businesses. This is an important asset building tool that has been in the bill for over 20 years. It is critical that 2501 remain in the bill and is fully funded at the 2008 level. 



Donor Challenge


Over the next 10 days (April 17 - April 26), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar every donation made to the Southern Partners Fund, Inc! This is an incredibly generous offering made by the Kellogg Foundation.  But most of all, it is much needed!  It is because of your support that the Southern Partners Fund is able to continue working to overcome social, economic, and political barriers placed against poor, Southern communities.

It's Here at Last!

The veredict of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the six major pesticides companies!


For over four years, the Farmworker Association of Florida has worked with Pesticide Action Network North America and Pesticide Action Network international in developing a case to go before an international peoples’ court – the Permanent Peoples Tribunal – that tried the six largest pesticide manufacturing companies on human rights violations of the right to health and to safe communities due to exposure to harmful pesticides. 


Via Campesina calls

Via Campesina calls for movements and organizations
to engage in resistance on April 17

Natasha Pitts-Adital
Wednesday April 4, 2012

17_DE_ABRIL_CLOCTo say no to land concentration and the fit of these from the hands of those who care and work, Via Campesina is making an important call with a view to Apr. 17, International Day of Peasant Struggle. Fishermen movements, social organizations, student groups, environmental and social justice fighting for are being invited to strengthen popular resistance against land concentration and corporate control of natural and agricultural goods.

Marches, video projections, land occupations, debates, art exhibitions and demonstrations are some of the activities suggested by Via Campesina to call attention to this global problem. Via Campesina calls all activities are reported (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it) and also the organizers of the initiatives send photos, videos and information about it.

Your Strawberries are safer today

Your Strawberries (and the People Who Grow Them) Are Safer Today

March 23, 2012


Strawberries methyl iodide

Good riddance to one of the most toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture’s arsenal. Battered by environmentalists and farmworkers and entangled in a lawsuit, Arysta LifeScience, the Japanese company that sells the fumigant methyl iodide, has decided to pull the pesticide from the market in the United States. “The decision was made as part of an internal review of the fumigant based on its economic viability in the U.S.,” the company said in a press release.

Methyl iodide, or iodomethane, is injected into the soil prior to planting, where it sets about killing all living organisms -- every insect, worm, bacteria, fungus, and virus. “It’s like chemotherapy,” one horticulturalist told me. The chemical is particularly popular among strawberry and tomato growers (see “Kicking the Chemical Habit”).


Victory for Farmworkers and the Environment!

Toxic Pesticide is Pulled from the Market!

Everyone’s hard work has paid off!  Methyl iodide – the toxic pesticide that was approved for use on tomatoes and strawberries in Florida – has been pulled from the market by the manufacturing company, Arysta LifeScience!  This is truly a victory for all the hard work that the Farmworker Association of Florida and its allies, Pesticide Action Network, the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, National Farm Worker Ministry and others have done over the past few years. (See the article here)

Congratulations to all our supporters who have signed petitions,

YAYA at the Community Garden

On Saturday, February 11, 2012, YAYA volunteered working in the community garden of Fellsmere, about an hour and a half south of Orlando. The weather when we left carpooling from Orlando was brisk, but sure enough, when we arrived in Fellsmere it was sunny, warm and welcoming. The perfect day to get ones hands dirty.

Farmworkers Join Civil Rights March in Orlando

Black History Month Civil Rights March Highlights Current Issues


Former Lake Apopka farmworkers Geraldine Matthew and Betty Dubose joined the Florida Civil Rights Association and Occupy Orlando, as well as other groups, in a civil rights march and rally around Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida on Saturday afternoon, February 25. 

The Knee-A-Thon for justice!

The Knee-A-Thon for justice for immigrants was a success on Saturday, February 11th.  You can view the photos of the event here.  Further events are planned for the future.  Join us in solidarity with this important action for immigrants' rights.


View the embedded image gallery online at:

On Their Knees for Justice!

Immigrants and Supporters Crawl on Their Knees to Draw Attention to the Crisis Affecting Immigrant Families

On Saturday, February 11, at 7:30am, concerned  families from the central Florida area will join the Knee A Thon to bring attention to the urgent need for immigration reform and to stop the tragic separation of families that results in children of undocumented immigrants being left without their parents.  The gathering will begin at the intersection of Hwy 60 and US 27 and end at 10:30 a.m. approximately 2 miles north from there on US 27.

For more information, contact Santos de la Rosa at 863.414.2217 or Tirso Moreno of the Farmworker Association of Florida at 407-810-3330.


New Report finds Wage Theft is Widespread in Florida


Wage Theft.  It is what happens when someone is not paid for the work that they do.  In some cases, it means that workers are cheated of their overtime hours, or they are not paid the minimum wage.  It can mean that a worker is paid late or has their time cards or pay stubs altered.  Sometimes, it is the result of workers being forced to work during meal times or breaks or being forced to work off the clock.   Sadly, all too often and increasingly, it can mean that a person who has put in an honest day, week or even months of work does not get paid at all.   Since the recession began in 2008, and in the ever-increasing anti-immigrant atmosphere in the country, the wage theft problem has only gotten worse. (Read the report here ) (See on the news)

"Be the Dream" Rally at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida

Students and Supporters Come Together in Solidarity

Leaders, activists, and student groups from across the state of Florida and around the country are working together in an effort to bring equality and access to a higher education to everyone.

For decades, people have been searching for their own specific version of the American Dream.  Some yearn for a big house and a fancy car. 

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