We wake up really early — 5 a.m. — which is hard for me since I’m used to sleeping in. I put on lots of layers — a long-sleeved sweater, a hat, boots, and a handkerchief. It gets hot, but we need to wear it all in order to protect ourselves from sunburn later in the day. We have to bring our own food and water. In the mornings, mom packs lunch for both us (usually sandwiches and beans) and then we head out together.
Dozens of families, activists and young people came out to participate in Merced’s third annual Cesar Chavez march; walking down the city’s Martin Luther King Boulevard while holding signs displaying their support for undocumented rights and the continued protection of farm workers.
“We’re very happy with the event,” said Jesse Ornelas, community organizer and member of the local chapter of the Brown Berets. “We got the community to come out and talk about issues that were relevant to South Merced and the farmworker community in general in this area.”
This weekend documentary filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes will premiere his film “Lupe Bajo el Sol (Lupe Under the Sun)” to a hometown audience in Merced. Inspired by tales of his own grandfather’s life as a migrant farmworker, the movie tells the story of an aging agricultural worker living in the Central San Joaquin Valley.
Merced County residents and real-life couple Daniel and Ana Muratalla star as ‘Lupe’ and his onscreen girlfriend ‘Gloria.
“I wish they would treat us better, or that we could have more opportunities,” said Gonzalez, who also noted that working in the fields while being a student at Merced College student is challenging. “I’ve been working in the fields since I was in high school, because it is the only way I could make a living.”