I felt like I was diving into the eye of the storm when I first volunteered to hand out bandannas to the most vulnerable in our community, ,migrant farm workers. I was overcome with fear before we started, but quickly was overjoyed to be there. Although our hands never touched, I felt the gratefulness and joy when we gave our farmworkers something to keep them protected.
My heart felt more broken when I left. I saw so many farm workers who looked exhausted and hungry. I feel like I could have done more for them. We kept thanking them for providing us the food they pick everyday. They remind me to keep doing more for those in vulnerable situations. I don’t believe in taking the glory for myself, but giving the glory to God I can help in some way during a pandemic.
Mariela, a younger member of the community, describes her experience giving back to the farm worker community with members of the Immokalee Grassroots Movement. The Immokalee Grassroots Movement was started by Maria Cardenas, Maria Sebastian, and Maria Plata to help the community during the pandemic. During this project, civic-minded members of the Immokalee community came together to distribute bandannas to farm workers to help protect them during their bus rides to and from work. Immokalee's residents were hit hard with lack of protections for essential workers and job loss. Some migrant farm workers decided to stay to work in construction or landscaping for fear of getting the virus if they mirgrated.
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Maria Plata is a Mexican-American writer, educator, and lover of connecting people through storytelling.