Santa Claus brings Christmas joy to east valley fieldworkers

Children writing letters to Santa, grown-ups busy shopping for the holidays, these are traditions we’ve come to expect every Christmas.

However, another tradition is the hard work of the men and women out in the fields, knowing they might have to skip out on Christmas with their families.

“It requires a lot of sacrifice and a lot of heavy labor to be a farm worker. We have to be in the fields before sunrise,” said Maria Dame, a fieldworker out in Thermal.

East valley farm workers will be harvesting produce like onions, red peppers, squash and even dates. This work is all so the rest of us can enjoy them in our holiday dinners.

“We have to be here to take care of crops. help them grow and harvest so that our nation can enjoy them. and we do it with pride and love,” said Dame.

To help alleviate some of the workload and spread some Christmas cheer, farmworkers were greeted with gifts and a visit from Santa Claus. An effort to remind them that they too are appreciated during this time.

“We were hoping to just celebrate for a little bit. I was hoping to dance and relax a little,” said Osvaldo Olivas.

With the help of the Todec organization, farmers were gifted a piece of clothing that can protect them as they work under extreme temperatures, but sometimes cannot even afford one.

“So they know that they are valued, not only in times of pandemic. But we should always value our workers and bring resources for them” said Luz Gallegos.

However, some farmers say the ultimate Christmas gift is up to the White House to grant. One that hero activists have been fighting for since the 60’s.

“That they will be able to pass the build back better act in the senate and immigration reform. Part of that bill is to give people who are undocumented give they a legal right to stay here and work here,” said Dolores Huerta, an iconic leader, especially in this region.

Adding that they are all still grateful to be healthy and working in this nation.

 

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