We all love a deal and in summer the low prices on fresh fruit are the best. We rarely consider the life cost of the workers. Children raised in the fields, working around insecticides, growing up without school. And the toll it takes later on it life.
At 3 minutes and 50 seconds into this video meet Juan. A native Californian, born and raised working in the fields while we went to school. His English is kind of like my Spanish – not what it should be. 40 years old. Living on skidrow. Already on disability. Kids who work in the fields get their Social Security cards and start paying into the system not long after they can walk.
Juan didn’t “sneak across the border” he was just born into a different part of the American caste than you or I… the one we try to pretend doesn’t exist. Until fruit goes on sale in the summertime. And we wonder how they get it from the fields to the table so inexpensively. It’s guys like Juan.
Skidrow will be the only retirement plan many of them ever experience. It’s their part in the American Dream. Juan comes out to eat dinner, socialize a bit and he always wants his picture taken. I’m sure he’d love to tell his entire story, but I don’t speak his language. If you speak Spanish and are willing to listen – so many people are waiting in hopes that someone cares enough to take the time. That someone could be you. You’re Invited!