- Extremely low pay for extremely hard work
- Lack of wage protection and employment benefits
- Substandard and overcrowded housing
- High rates of illness due to pesticide exposure, heat stress, skin disease, and other work-related problems
- Limited access to health care
So what can we do? One idea is seeking out a farmworker advocacy group near you and donating or volunteering. Also, we can help children learn about these issues through literature.
Here are some picture books that address the inequities that migrant workers have faced in the past and still face today:
La Mariposa (Francisco Jiménez & Simón Silva, 2000)
Tomás and the Library Lady (Pat Mora & Raúl Colón, 2000)
Calling the Doves / El Canto de las Palomas (Juan Felipe Herrera & Elly Simmons, 2001)
Gathering the Sun (Alma Flor Ada & Simón Silva, 2001)
César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! (Carmen T. Bernier-Grand & David Díaz, 2004)
That’s Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice / La Lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justicia (Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Teneyuca, & Terry Ybáñez, 2008)
Side by Side / Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chávez / La Historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez (Monica Brown & Joe Cepeda, 2010)
More resources from Colorín Colorado
As always, when we read these books with kids, we must remember to look at them with a critical eye and help young readers do so as well. Reading about and discussing farmworkers' lives is a great first step to joining the struggle for migrant workers' rights.