Advocating for Farm Workers

Posted by Spalding Hurst

March 6, 2024

Felix Garza, SCNA, (pictured at the right above) reflects on his extensive experience with farm workers, highlighting the challenges they face, including wage theft, exposure to harsh weather, and poor living conditions. Garza’s background as a former farm worker and his bilingual abilities have enabled him to bridge communication gaps between farm workers and English-speaking advocates. He notes the isolation and neglect felt by farm workers yet also acknowledges the positive impact of successful advocacy efforts, including improved contracts and legislation, often credited to the support of religious communities and consumers.

Farm Workers are vulnerable to wage theft, exposure to extreme weather conditions, often subjected to unsanitary living conditions and many other dehumanizing experiences. Volunteering to accompany farm workers as they struggle to improve their living and working conditions has been an inspirational and fulfilling lifelong journey. I have been fortunate to have had the experience of working alongside my parents as a farm worker through my youth and college years. Having that experience and being fully bilingual in English and Spanish has provided me an opportunity to help farm workers communicate their concerns to the English-speaking people of faith who want to understand and advocate on their behalf. I have often been told by farm workers we meet that they did not think anyone cared about their lives. They express their feelings of isolation and being abandoned to defend themselves in rural agricultural lands across the US, far from the view of consumers of the products they help produce. When campaign victories have been achieved through equitable-centered work contracts and protective legislation, they express their gratitude for the solidarity and attribute their success in large part to the support received by religious communities and consumers across the US.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Driscoll

    Felix, we SCNs are grateful that you can uniquely convey to farmworkers who have so many needs our genuine care, prayer and actions you may point out.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

Sister Jyotsana Wins Award

Sister Jyotsana Wins Award

Sister Jyotsana George received the “Archbishop Thomas Pathacamury Memorial Prize” for the Best Outgoing Religious Sister during the graduation ceremony at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore on April 16, 2025. This award honors her exemplary embodiment of the SCN charism throughout her academic career. Congratulations to Sister Jyotsana on this distinguished achievement.

A Life Devoted to Service

A Life Devoted to Service

Sister Mary Braley exemplifies unwavering dedication to service, from her role as a beloved teacher to her involvement in parish activities.

Former Students Support Present Students

Former Students Support Present Students

Former students from Mumbai funded school expenses for three students at St. Dominic’s School, Meghalaya, enhancing their educational opportunities and impacting additional children. Sister Chandrakala (pictured) sends her gratitude.