Farmworker’s Panel

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Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Date, Location

Stories of Former Farmworkers

Michigan has the fifth highest number of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the nation. These individuals—important contributors to the food system—are often overlooked. Hear the stories of former farmworkers about their experiences in the fields and their work to advocate for farmworkers to have safe and dignified working conditions, a decent standard of living, and the right to live and work legally in this country—hallmarks of a truly just and sustainable food system.

Participants:

  • Adriana Cardoso Reyes, director of the CAMP Program at Western Michigan University, which offers mentoring and support to migrant farmworkers/children of farmworkers during their first year of college
  • Guillermo Martinez, Van Buren Intermediate School District; Los Bandits de Michigan
  • Luis Hernandez, who was born in Mexico, came to the U. S. as a baby, and grew up working in farm work; currently a migrant recruiter for Van Buren ISD and part of the Welcoming Michigan leadership committee for Van Buren County
  • Alfedo Aleman, a former farmworker originally from South Haven who now works as an elementary school teacher in Portage
  • Jose and Isabel Galavis, former farmworkers and migrant advocates