Daughters of the field: East Bay women provide essential goods to farmworkers working through pandemic, wildfires

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ByMelissa Pixcar KGO logo
Thursday, September 24, 2020
East Bay women provide local farmworkers with essential goods
A group of moms called Hijas del Campo (Daughters of the Field) are providing local farmworkers with essential goods.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- "When we look at the food that's on our tables, they're all being picked by somebody, and who is that somebody?" Marivel Mendoza asks.

She explains most of us are in a situation where we can work from home, however, farmworkers are not. Not only are they working in very close conditions, but recently they've continued even during days of poor air quality caused by the fires.

RELATED: Outside workers in Bay Area power through poor air quality, some saying they had no choice

Hijas del Campo, which translates to Daughters of the Field, are raising awareness about the farmworkers plight. Mendoza says people overlook or forget about them.

The group is made up of four women who are daughters of immigrants. Their parents started their American journey which cut right through the field.

The movement which started with a social post announcement about a caravan has grown with support. "Other donations are coming from our communities, and our friends and family, and people that we don't even know," says Amelia Villarreal.

Villarreal feels that most people want to help, but they just don't know how. Hijas del Campo is providing a platform for people to give and be part of the community.

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A Stanford student took a part-time, summer job on a blueberry farm, and is going viral after exposing how much the workers get paid.

In a survey conducted by the group, the majority of the farmworkers asked for masks and food. "Just knowing that these people are working seven days a week, 10-plus hours a day, and they still need help with food, as essential as they are, it just made me so sad," says Dorina Moraida. It was eye-opening to her to learn there was such a need.

RELATED: Coronavirus kindness: Bay Area seamstresses work around the clock to make face masks for farmworkers

Moraida says the reaction by the farmworkers has been one of humility and shock, by how much the community has given to them.

"I don't see this slowing down. It's something that it holds dear to all of our hearts. We're all hijas de campesinos. It's something that we don't want to stop," shares Villarreal, who says this is just the beginning.

The women feel blessed to take a little and give a lot. This time has brought the community together, confirming together we can do a lot.

If you want to make a donation to HIjas Del Campo, you can help by purchasing an item in their Amazon wish list here.

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