*Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the College Assistant Migrant Program or those of Oregon State University.*
High School: Woodburn High School
CAMP Year: CAMP Scholar 2006-07
I work these fields you lack at caring and picking for
I work to maintain mi familia with wages that barely get us past the week
Yet I was thanked for my labor by being deported
Was this area not once Mexico?
Pero esa es otra historia.
Mi trabajo vale mucho.
I work the fields.
I wake up each morning knowing the labor that awaits me
Backbreaking work; under the watchful and cruel eye of the sun.
The only shade being our shadows.
Mis hermanitos y yo working rather than being in school para obtener una educación
I work the fields not you
I pick the fruit and vegetables you eat
But that doesn’t matter to you
Si no tienes papeles eres un criminal, no vale el trabajo que hago
Mi papa y mi mamá have labored for years in the hopes of giving their children a better life.
They search for work each season; I search for a way out.
I work the fields, not you
For many there is no way out, but I will find it
Even with the jokes my classmates make of who I am
Mis taquitos I love
Mi familia es única
Perhaps you don’t understand our culture, but we remain together.
We work the fields not you.
I’m not a wetback like you all say.
I’m not below you, I’m equal to you.
There is nothing that can change your attitude but remember who works your fields.
I have worked your fields since I was old enough to work.
I have worked your fields while you sit at home without a care in the world.
I have worked your fields watching mi papá and mamá slowly age with the fields
Like I have grown with the fields, so have they.
Each morning waking before the sun rises to work, even with small children.
They had to, otherwise what would we eat that night
Where would we sleep?
We did what we could with what we had.
But you don’t understand, all you care for is the fruit we pick the money you obtain.
But remember, I worked the fields not you
Mi familia worked the fields not you,
Otras familias like mine worked the fields not you.
Mi Corazon breaks knowing that others come in search of a better life,
What they will find is a country that says it is open to all, but discrimination still exists
Si no eres blanco, no vales algo.
Si no sabes inglés no eres americano.
Pero sí soy alguien,
I am somebody.
You forget so easily that many of us have watched our parents grow old in the fields.
We all grow and age with the fields.
We work the fields not you
We help to feed you and your children.
But we are thanked with wages that barely get us past the week and month.
But some of us will find a way out.
We are not wetbacks,
We are in fact the next
Picasso, Shakespeare, Cesar E. Chavez, Dolores Huerta
But you will never know because our talents have been oppressed
I have been working your fields,
I have been aging with the fields,
But I will become what those men and women have; they have set the path for us.
We will find a way out but we will not forget where we came from,
Because I worked your fields not you
High School: Hood River Valley High School
CAMP Year: CAMP Scholar 2006-07
I looked directly to his eyes, and I said “Please, dad—listen to me, I want to go to college!” I was able to see his madness through his eyes “No. You have to obey me. You must work because I am old now and I can’t pay the house by myself!” At that moment, I stood firmly and I said to him “You are my father, I respect and love you, but you can’t decide my future.”
How could I ever forget those words? Those words are the main reason that encouraged me to come to college. It was very hard not to have my father’s support. I’ve been proving him that being in college is the best way to pursue my dreams and have a better life. I believe one day he will understand me; I also believe that deep in his heart he is proud of me.
I have faced many obstacles in my life. One that really changed my life was when I came to the United States, because I did not know English. I had to start high school, and sometimes I had to work in the fields picking apples and pears to help pay the bills at home. It was very difficult for me because I didn’t know how to do this kind of work, so my dad taught me how to pick fruit. I worked because I had to work; I had to obey my dad, and I now was another mouth to feed. Every single day was the same routine. I felt numb, like a robot, created to do one specific job, unable to dream. I knew this work wasn’t for me, so I decided to study hard. I know I will reach my goals, and my dreams, because I am sure that there are many good people who are going to help and guide me. I also know that money is important to my college success, and I know that I’ll become who I want to be, because I am committed to succeeding in life.