The CFWF is working with Richard Hobbs, a San José immigration attorney to change the state law requirement so that migrant farmworkers have the option of finding housing and remianing in the school district for the duration of the school year. Their children will then have a greater opportunity for academic success. Richard Hobbs has written new legislation entitled “The Migrant Farmworker Children Educational Protection Act of 2010.” Assemblyman Paul Fong of San José will carry the legislation forward.
Recent years have been especially difficult for farmworkers living year-round on the Central Coast. The downturn in the economy and rising cost of living have pushed them further into poverty. These days they are even less able to provide for their children. Please support us in carrying on a family tradition by providing funds for the purchase of gifts and coats for the farmworker parents and their children so that we can continue to bring joy and excitement to families that deserve so much and have so little.
Click here to read about and view photos from Farmworker Family Christmas 2009.
This year CFWF focused on three families in Watsonville for Farmworker Family Christmas:
- One family’s home is a converted shed with no potable water in a strawberry field. CFWF volunteers surprised the family with a Christmas tree, ornaments, and gifts to brighten up their uninspiring living situation.
- We provided gifts for a family in which one parent works in the mushroom industry and the other works in the berry industry. 2011 was a difficult year for the family. Thousands of dollars were required to pay for attorney fees and paper processing in order for all family members to obtain legal residency.
- Our third family is a single parent family with three young daughters. Because of the shortage of affordable housing options for year-round Watsonville farmworker residents, many families live in substandard housing situations. The children’s mother has been on a waiting list for two years for an apartment at the two affordable residences designed for low-income workers. In the meantime, she has been virtually homeless; forced to move from place with her daughters while waiting for an affordable apartment. CFWF provided the mother and her three daughters with Christmas gifts from Santa.
Click here view photos from Farmworker Family Christmas 2011.
The one desire that all farmworker families ardently express is that they want their children educated so that they become eligible for a career and won’t have to work in the fields. However, because of impoverished salaries, most cannot afford to purchase computers and printers for the household. Click here to read more and view photos.
Farmworker housing is typically located in remote areas far from cities and towns, thereby rendering farmworkers invisible to the general public. Farmworker Reality Tours correct this disconnect by allowing participants to meet, dialogue with, and hear the testimonials of farmworkers.
The tours challenge participants to better understand the conditions of Mexican farmworkers in Northern California by sharing in their lives, food, and living quarters. In 2009, requests for Farmworker Reality Tours increased significantly from a variety of organizations. The San José Human Agenda organization has always sponsored a yearly FW Reality Tour. In 2009, De Anza College English class instructors, Marc Coronado and Karen Chow, brought several classes of students to the fields to learn about the lives of farmworkers.
Click here to view photos of a Farmworker Reality Tour
For more information about upcoming Reality Tours, please click here.
Elaine Ruckel and Ruth Cadell have years of experience teaching yoga and working with people who have suffered physical injuries. They volunteer their time to teach yoga to farmworkers at the Buena Vista Migrant Camp from May to November on Sunday afternoons. The Center for Farmworker Families purchased the yoga props for the class.
Farm work in agricultural fields is the second most hazardous industry after construction in the United States. Farmworkers are prone to a variety of debilitating injuries incurred from working bent over all day (strawberries), lifting heavy boxes of produce, carrying heavy boxes, falling from high platforms onto concrete in the mushroom industry, etc.
Click here to view more pictures from our California project.