Guadalupe Quintero

Sonora, Mexico

Farmer

I came here 24 years ago. It was not my choice to come to the US. It was because my husband got a working visa and I came because I had to support my husband.

During the first years, I did not work. I raised my kids and learned English. I finished school, and I graduated. I am a preschool teacher and have worked in different educational areas. After that, I opened a daycare. When my sons graduated from university, I went back to do the things I love.

Long time ago I saw a brochure about how to grow things organically. It was a nonprofit called ALBA, based in Salinas where they teach people how to farm organically. I did not start the program because my kids needed me but when they grew up, I joined the program.

I have learned a lot. This is like another world, a world that I already knew. I was born in a rural area. My grandfather was a farmer and I loved farming.  When I started with ALBA, it was like being at home. What I most like about ALBA is that it has a structure. ALBA is a school and everything is done step by step. They never let you alone. I like all the advice they give me. They keep me informed about plants, plagues, crops, and workshops. At ALBA we are always learning. I have met people from different parts of the world. These people share their knowledge about how they farm in other countries.

I contribute to this country in many different ways. I pay my taxes and my educated sons work hard. As a preschool teacher, I have supported some families. What makes happiest is to know that my organic products are useful and go for the food bank project, that my products go to families I know.

One of my goals was to start my own farm and I achieved it. I hope to eventually get my own ranch after I finish my training with ALBA.I want to cultivate flowers. They will be organic edible flowers for restaurants. I want to have chickens and goats. I want to make goat cheese. I am positive I can reach this goal.

As a US. citizen with the right to vote, we have to let the legislators know that they have to be more flexible when making laws towards immigrant kids. What is happening in Texas and in Arizona should not happen. Everyone has the right to a better life. This country offers a better life. I know a lot of dreamers, and I think that this government is in debt to them. They were not born here, but this is the only country they know.  I travel constantly to Mexico, I have this privilege, and I see how people do not accept someone who does not speak like them. This is difficult for Dreamers because they have never been there before. It can become a traumatic experience. If they are already here why not help them. As a mother, I demand the government help the dreamers and immigrants. If there is a way to help women that work in the fields it will be great. I know a lot of women who have these jobs. This is the only alternative they have, so they need more support.