Today’s guest on Good News Santa Cruz is Dr. Ann López named the Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Mark Stone for our the 29th Assembly District of California.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the living and working conditions of migrant farmworker families on the Central Coast and in Mexico.
Dr. Ann has a B.A in Biology, an M.A. in Environmental Biology, a PhD in Environmental Studies from UCSC, and she has completed post-doc work at Berkeley. The focus of her doctoral studies centered on understanding and documenting the human side of the binational migration circuit from the subsistence and small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. This research, and her firsthand account traveling and living with this vulnerable yet resilient population culminated in the publication of a book entitled The Farmworkers Journey.
Center for Farmworker Families http://www.farmworkerfamily.org/
Center for Farmworker Families: Education, Advocacy, and Support for farmworkers and their families struggling to survive.
Our website will acquaint you with farmworkers and their families in Mexico. You will learn about our organization and its purpose and will have an opportunity to participate directly in the lives of bi-national farmworker families by engaging in activities that serve to alleviate the worst aspects of the everyday poverty they are burdened with. With participation in this effort, you become part of our grassroots community to improve the well-being of farmworkers and their family members, both in Mexico and the U.S
Our mission is to promote awareness about the difficult life circumstances of farmworker families while proactively inspiring improvement in binational family life both in the United States and in Mexico.
Projects: Tutoring, Farmworkers Reality Tour
Victory – 50-mile rule regulation, Oaxacan Community Shed, Ag housing
Past projects: computers and printers for Buena Vista Migrant camp: The Center for Farmworker Families has initiated a new program to give Farmworkers and their families access to a better education by providing families with school age children computers and printers to families. Generous donors have provided the funds for the purchase of four office quality computers, printers, speakers, keyboards and other accessories. The computers are checked out to four families with older children and adults who are continuing their education. The computers have made a huge impact, we hope to secure future funding to increase the number of computers at the camp.
Each year the Center for Farmworker Families (CFF) is notified of families in Watsonville and Salinas that do not have the resources to enjoy a Christmas celebration and provide gifts for their children. We recognize the importance of celebrating the holidays for families and how it can contribute to a better quality of life. So, in the spirit of christmas, Dr. López’ father, David López, dons his Santa costume and let’s these families and children know that they are not forgotten, and that Santa loves all children.
Recent years have been especially difficult for farmworkers living year-round on the Central Coast. The downturn in the economy and rising cost of living have pushed them further into poverty. These days they are even less able to provide for their children. With the support of the community and other organizations, we help them carry on family traditions, and provide donated gifts and coats for the farmworker parents and their children. You can read more about these event in our blog.
In 1969, while enjoying a successful career as a biology teacher at San José City College, Dr. López read a series of news articles documenting the plight of migrant farm workers, and the human and environmental consequences wrought by unfair trade and agricultural policies. At the age of 49, Dr. López pursued a doctorate in environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The focus of her doctoral studies centered on understanding and documenting the human side of the binational migration circuit from the subsistence and small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. This research and her firsthand account traveling and living with this vulnerable, yet resilient population culminated in the publication of a book entitled The Farmworkers Journey.
Long a critic of the State of California’s “50-Mile Rule,” a well-intended but deeply flawed policy that regularly displaced farmworkers and their families, Dr. López traveled to Sacramento on multiple occasions to speak to the academic and emotional harm caused by forcing families with school-aged children to leave their homes and schools. Her advocacy and persistence fueled the policy change that extended the duration of stay and allowed for an exemption to the 50-mile rule so that school-age children can finish their school year without interruption.