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Event recognizes area farmworkers
Gathering slated for Friendship Park
We see farmworkers toiling in the fields month after month, regardless of the conditions or weather. The work they do contributes billions of dollars to the local and national economies.
“Whether it's raining, windy or hot, we see them working. We might even think, ‘Poor them!' We are moved by how they make a living,” said Flor Redondo, director of Campesinos Sin Fronteras.
“They contribute in a big way not only to Yuma County but the entire nation,” she added.
An opportunity for the community to thank farmworkers is with the 18th annual Día del Campesino (Day of the Farmworker), which includes a health and information fair. The free event will be held Saturday from 3 to 10 a.m., at Friendship Park in San Luis, Ariz.
Gerald F. Kicanas, bishop of the Diocese of Tucson, and Yuma County priests will celebrate a Mass from 10 a.m. to noon.
One of the purposes of the event — and one of the reasons it's held so early — is to give farmworkers access to services and information not normally available to them because of their work schedules.
“They leave early in the morning and don't return home until the evening, when everything is closed,” said Redondo, who is also chairwoman of the Día del Campesino organizing committee.
“So we make an effort to be there for them. It really is a great need.”
Some 60 agencies and churches and 100 volunteers, from young to old, will participate in the free event. About 5,000 people are expected.
With a mobile clinic on site, farmworkers will receive flu shots and glucose, cholesterol, body mass and osteoporosis tests.
Participants will have access to information on employment, jobless benefits, health, nutrition, child care, housing, legal services and information on immigration, income tax returns and how to handle stress.
“We will have all the services in the community in one place,” Redondo said.
The day will begin with a traditional breakfast of menudo, coffee and pastries. In addition, the event will include music, raffles, gifts and more.
“It's not just for workers. Everyone is welcome, age doesn't matter, from newborns to seniors. It's a party for the community,” Redondo said.