I thought it only fitting that I talked about the plight of migrant farmworkers in honor of Cesar Chavez. It's especially pressing on my mind recently after reading about the horrific conditions many farmworker families face daily while living in migrant farm worker camps. The LA Times recently did a story titled The Southland's Third World Slums, which chronicles the life in a migrant farm worker trailer camp in Coachella Valley. (I can't link the story because the LA Times charges a fee for non-subscribers, but if you want more information, email me.)
This is not a picture from the article.
This makeshift town on Reservation land (thus exempt from zoning laws) has over 500 hundred families living it with no running water, no electricity, no heat. They burn waste for heat which creates toxic fumes. They bathe and drink contaminated water. They sleep up to 30 deep in small trailers without running water or plumbing; kids often sleep outside on makeshift beds made of cardboard. The average income is $10,000 for a family of six. Children suffer high levels of pulmonary illnesses, coughs, infections and skin rashes.
The camp resides next to one of the most toxic dumps in the area, citing more than 20 times the national amounts of certain deadly toxins. The dump, like the camp, is on reservation land but the EPA pushed to get it closed and has been successful a number of times. The park and it's inhabitants have stayed open; it's not deemed as dangerous as the pollution being emitted by the dump. No doubt because that pollution can enter anyone's lungs, even us white folks driving by. The latino families who have nowhere to go aren't quite as lucky.
Sadly, this type of living environment is all too common. And America is not alone in this. Canada has also long cited an immigrant problem and have been accused of mistreating MFWs.
"Immigrants are choking welfare systems, contributing to high unemployment, and many cannot read."(Art Hanger, Canadian Press, February 2, 1994)
Picture and quote courtesy of J4MW, a volunteer driven Canadian NGO/activist group.
Some might say these folks are here illegally, they get what they get. But I can't subscribe to this because if they are living like this while working 12 hours or more a day then it must be a lot worse where they came from. I also can't subscribe to this because I have no idea what it truly means to be desperate; to not have clean water for M, to work so hard for so very little. And we all eat the fruits of their labors, casually tossing grapes in our mouths without thinking how they got to our table.
And now for the March Roundtable. Thank you to all of you for sitting around our fire and making me think.
Alejna at Collecting Tokens with Finding My Voice
Alice at And She Wrote with Simple Justice and Small Change
Alpha Dogma with Seal Deal
Andrea at Little Bald Doctors with A Blogger of Substance
The Atavist with Walking Talk
Blog Antagonist with No Hablas Engles
Bon at Crib Chronicles with Real Moms
Chani at Thailand Gal with wear your love like heaven
Gwen at Woman on the Verge with Ours Goes to Eleven
Jen at One Plus Two with circle game, Do We Ever Really Know What Time it Is and Boy in a Box
Jess at Oh the Joys with Warmth
Jill at Not so Sage Wisdom with Engendered
Julie at The Ravin' Picture Maven with Must Read Posts related to the HPV Vaccine, Normalizing Disabilities: Is it Right and Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones
KC at Where's My Cape with Blind or Need Blind and Thin parts 1, 2, 3, 4
Kyla at The Journey with Zen Shmen
Little Monkies with Insanity on Treadmill 29
Liv at Madness, Madness I Say with D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Mad Marriage with Is there No Justice and Lack of Justice in the College Admissions Process Magpie at Magpie Musing with Kristof Led Donations
Mary G at Them's My Sentiments with Blowin' in the Wind
Mary Murtz at Eleven with Part 3
Mother-Woman with Unsolicited Book Advice
Mouse at the Mouse's Nest with Global Warming Wednesday: Is it (Im)material?, BYOB (Bag that is), Bagging Plastic Bags, Cars
QT at Can we Kick the Bar Here with Any Soldier
Sandra at MommyBlogsToronto with Stop the "Eggs Stinking"
Slouching Mom with With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies
Susanne at Creative Mother Thinking with March Just Post
Urban Urchin with Let Love Rule
Alejna at Collecting Tokens
Bon at Crib Chronicles
Carrie at Third times a charm
Christina at fluttercrafts
Hel at Truth Cycles
Jen at One Plus Two
Jess at Oh the Joys
Jill at Not So Sage Wisdom
KC at Where's My Cape
Sandra at Sunshine Scribe
Susanne at Creative Mother Thinking
If you want to get on the mailing list for the Just Post Roundtables, drop me an email. We always have room for more. Speaking of, don't forget to check out Mad's end of the table.
Oh, and this just in: I've been nominated for this, which is supremely exciting. If you are so inclined, check it out.