I came to the U.S. in 1996 because I had no job opportunities. I worked in the fields for twenty years harvesting strawberries, grapes, lettuce, oranges and citrus.
About four years ago, my coworkers told me about ALBA, a non-profit based in Salinas, that helps farmworkers become their own organic farmers. I took their classes and they supported me a lot, especially with the paperwork I needed to farm on my own. I have 4 and a half acres. I grow onions, zucchini, corn, green beans, chilies, and tomatoes. I work very hard and try to grow the best products with the best taste. I sell wholesale and direct to the consumer.
I want to be able to hire more workers and rent more acres and to keep working organically. Maybe in two years, I will have ten to fifteen acres.
My children are now in school. I would like them to finish school and reach a high level of education. Sometimes, my support for them is not enough but I will do what I can.
I would like the U.S. government to give permits for all the farmworkers, so they can go visit and see their families.