Last year I volunteered with the Sisters of Notre Dame, an Apopka-based organization that works closely with the FWAF. I tutored ESOL students at a high school, many of them from migrant worker families and I witnessed the hardships that they face. Many of them were "illegal" immigrants or their parents were. But their parents do hard, noble work to support their families - work that ultimately benefits Americans. That is, any of us who eat. Their efforts bring food to our plates at low costs and high convenience. Yet they are often underpaid and in cases of illegal status they are seen by the US public as parasites, degenerates, pariahs. If found out, they are deported often times having to leave their families, dependent on their pittance income, behind. There is little semblance of justice in this system.
After HOH Fest last year, I also became loosely involved with NFWM and their youth branch, YAYA. During my time volunteering at the high school, I started a Peace Club and encouraged the students to be mindful of where their food came from and of the injustices that brought it to them cheaply and conveniently. I hoped to start a YAYA chapter at the school but was not able to get it off the ground.
I hope to increase awareness of the injustices that many farmworkers face. I believe that all men and women deserve to be treated with respect, love, and compassion regardless of nationality, ethnicity, citizenry, race, or gender. Pardon me for sounding like a bumper sticker, but no person is "illegal." Farmworkers deserve justice. Americans need to learn how their lifestyles contribute to the injustices we now see.
HOH is involved in supporting and bringing justice to farmworkers and their families and educating others about the realities of farm labor. This is why I want to be involved in the fest. Gracias.
FWAF --> Farmworkers Association of Florida
ESOL --> English for Speakers of Other Languages
HOH --> Harvest of Hope
NFWM --> National Farmworker Ministry
YAYA --> Youth and Young Adult (network of NFWM)