" I am a farmworker myself, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of my fellow farmworkers who work in the fields producing food and other farm products that end up on tables of America, in homes of America. We believe that we do a great contribution to society and for that reason we deserve better treatment and respect for our dignity. In the last 20 years, we have been working in the communities and have made some improvements. We have seen some changes, but still farmworkers suffer a lot of injustice, exploitation, discrimination, and we have to continue working to improve living and working conditions for our fellow farmworkers."
Consider for a moment a common need that connects us all – healthy food - so that we can continue to grow, care for our families, and live life to the fullest each day. Now, take a moment to consider the links in the chain that bring that food to our tables – the land, the seeds, water and sunshine, and the hands that cultivate and harvest the crops.
I’ve spent my life surrounded by farmworkers – working in the fields, fighting discrimination and exploitation, building the power of farmworker communities, and advocating for farmworkers’ rights. I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of our people. We do a service to this society.
The intense labor of farmworkers each day contributes greatly to human health, yet farmworkers are often forgotten faces. Imagine rising before the sun, enduring long work hours of rigorous physical labor, surrounded by the extreme Florida heat and humidity, and constant exposure to pesticides. And after giving your full physical self, you still earn deplorable wages and live in impoverished conditions. Despite these hardships, farmworker families somehow retain a spirit of community, faith, and perseverance.
All of us depend on the fruits of the earth for nourishment, and yet few understand the labor and risks involved in planting, tending, harvesting, and processing our food. Let each meal remind us that we depend on the land and are blessed by the fruits of the earth and the work of farmers and field laborers.
Si se puede!
Tirso Moreno, FWAF General Coordinator