migrant farm workers

On this week's Valley Edition: Thousands of migrant workers come to California each year to do temporary labor in the Valley and send money back to their families. What has the pandemic been like for them? We go to Delano to talk to some workers from Mexico who have been living in a hotel for the past four months. 

 And, we speak with four registered nurses who work in ICUs throughout the San Joaquin Valley about the toll of treating COVID-19 patients over the last year. 

 

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

 

Small groups of men sit outside a Motel 6 just off Highway 99 in Delano. For more than half a year, this is their home. They sit on the stairs or on the grass. One group leans against a fence, surrounding an empty pool. They’re chatting or taking in the sun; some with phones to their ears talking to loved ones back home in Mexico. 

 

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

Not every small town in the Valley has a COVID-19 code enforcement officer, but Firebaugh does. His name is Sef Gonzalez and on this Tuesday, he’s dropping by restaurants downtown to remind them of the new rules issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

At a Mexican restaurant, Don Pepe, Gonzalez tells the owner Juan Miguel indoor dining must stop by 3 p.m.

© 1978 George Ballis/Take Stock

Adios Amor tells the story of one woman who should have made it into the history books but didn't. Maria Moreno was the first female farm worker to be hired as a union organizer.

 

Originally from Texas, Moreno lived with her husband and 12 children working in the fields. She was an indigenous woman with only a second-grade education but used her voice to rally support for farm workers' rights.