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A New Day for Farmworkers
Lupe Gonzalo understands all too well the hardscrabble life of a farmworker. She often had to wake up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning to travel to a farm, where she was handed a bucket and told to fill that bucket as many times as humanly possible during the day.
“That’s your job,” she said. “That’s what you’re there to do. And when you’re doing this work, sometimes you aren’t given the time to stop, take a break, to drink some water or to just gather yourself.”
While all farmworkers are subject to exploitation, women are especially vulnerable.
“For farmworker women, one of the main things that they have faced is sexual harassment and sexual violence in the workplace, which can be verbal but also physical,” Lupe said. “The women don’t really have an option of speaking out for themselves, because often if you do, you run the risk of losing your job. And if you lose that job, you’re not able to put food on your family’s table.”
But Lupe’s and thousands of farmworkers’ lives were made better, thanks to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a worker-based human rights organization. CIW is a partner of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, a ministry supported by our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.Download