The day begins with a loud cock-a-doodle-doo. Men, women, children, the whole family prepare to go out into the fields to start working under the intense sun in order to provide for the family and support our consumption habits. As the day heats up, you will see a worker lifting his head to see how much is left to do while swiping the sweat off his forehead. No matter how hot or cold, the worker continues toiling the land to sustain their family. As the sun sets, the work is done, and farmworkers have earned their rest.
More than incredible human beings, farmworkers are superheroes. Their occupation is a tough work of love. Taking care of the crops takes time, dedication, hard work, consistency, and many sacrifices. Because farmworkers are extraordinary, and because they feed the world, every year we celebrate National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFAW) during the last week of March. This is a week of action and appreciation for the wonderful contributions farmworkers give us. Whether we are aware or not, farmworkers play a very important role in our lives. Without farmworkers, we couldn’t enjoy the wonderful food we consume daily.
AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs is committed to honoring and improving farmworker lives through our annual National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive from March 24-31, 2019. Many of AFOP’s member organizations and other advocate organizations, companies, churches, and universities have joined our national drive. There will be multiple drop-off locations in many states; please click here to learn where you can drop-off your gently-used long-sleeve shirt.
As we celebrate NFAW this week, accompany us by reading amazing daily blogs about who and what is the farmworker community. And let’s remember that farmworkers are providers who, every day, offer all their energy, time and dedication so we can eat, while they provide for their families. Farmworkers are dreamers with high hope for a brighter future for them and their families. Farmworkers are dignified and must be valued and respected for the hard work they do. Farmworkers are artists, as it takes charisma, creativity and dedication to cultivate, grow and harvest the soil. Farmworkers are resilient because, beyond all the injustice, they keep trying and fighting to have a brighter and safer life. Farmworkers are friends who take care of each other at all times. And, farmworkers are united, because as one they will fight for equal rights and fair pay.
We all can show appreciation and be agents of change not only during NFAW, but consistently throughout the year. Let’s continue raising awareness about the issues farmworkers face, as well as advocate and fight for farmworkers’ rights. Activities will be held across the nation. No matter where you are, check out the happenings in your community, put out a box to collect long-sleeve shirts with us, or create your own event. Let’s support the amazing farmworker community.
¡Si se puede!
“It is my dream to, regardless of my accomplishments, never lose sight of my heritage and the spirit of the farmworker who deserves the right to be heard and never ignored.” – Lupe Huitron, SAF alum, 2005
“I think that one day the labor of farmworkers will be valued.” – NC Farmworker, 2015
“Just keep on trying. Keep looking up. Keep looking ahead because if you don’t aspire to something more, you’re going to stay put right there.” – SC Farmworker, 2013
“A compañero who was walking with me looked at me and said, ‘Are you sick?’ He told the boss that I was sick. The boss said, ‘Just have him work slowly. If he doesn’t work, I’ll get someone else from Mexico.’ So I kept going. My compañero never left me. He walked with me and helped me the whole time.” – Benjamin, NC Farmworker, 2006
“The people united will never be defeated.” -Cesar Chavez