History of Levante


Through a participatory video development project, Levante youth created Voices From The Field, an informational video about occupational and mental health in a TV-show format. The videos will be used by health outreach organizations, and SAF’s summer theater group will perform a play adapted from the videos for farmworker camps in NC. The youth visited Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.


Levante’s Literacy Through Photography (LTP) work from previous years was showcased at the Center for Documentary Studies in an exhibition titled “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Anyone Else”. Levante youth focused on media literacy through a partnership with East Carolina University and received iPads and internet hotspots. Students also conducted LTP work on family stories by interviewing their parents about family photos and memories. The Levante youth visited UNC-Pembroke during National Farmworker Awareness Week.


Youth collaborated with Literacy Through Photography (LTP) at the Center for Documentary Studies and created dream and goal maps and photography reflecting on poems. Levante youth also began their role as youth advisory committee members with a community-based participatory research study on the occupational health of youth farmworkers conducted by the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Students visited Guilford College for the Soy Un Lider conference, and traveled to upstate New York for a learning exchange with the Rural Migrant Ministry.


Levante youth collaborated with the Literacy Through Photography (LTP) program at the Center for Documentary Studies. Students took self-portraits and made a visual alphabet centering on the theme of identity. Students visited Guilford College for the 9th Annual Soy Un Lider conference and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for the STEM expo.


Levante youth wrote a song called El Sueño, about the life, dreams, and expectations of a farmworker crossing the border. The students wrote this song with the help of SAF Solidaridad intern Jenna Horgan. In collaboration with Duke University students, Levante youth created a music video for the song.


Levante youth used SAF's 20th anniversary farmworker mural to raise awareness about farmworkers in the United States. The youth visited Juntos at NC State University.


In celebration of SAF's 20th anniversary in 2012, youth from the Levante Leadership Institute were supported by the Beehive Design Collective to create a portable fabric mural that tells their stories and highlights SAF's 20 years of work in the farmworker movement. Through an intense three-week facilitated, collaborative, and creative process, the youth learned how to use their stories to graphically tell a collective story of their experiences and of our work to address farmworker injustice. The mural was unveiled during a community celebration in eastern North Carolina in November 2012 and SAF is now taking the mural on the road to teach others about the farmworker movement.


Youth from the Levante Leadership Institute performed the play One in a Million to create awareness about child labor and the struggles that migrant students face while in school and in the work place.


Levante youth developed and performed One in a Million, a play that tells the story of Julio, a teenage boy who has to work before and after school to help his parents earn money for the family. Through Julio’s story, audience members learn about children who work in the fields, their struggles, and their aspirations for the future.


Levante youth developed and performed ¿Qué culpa tengo yo?, a play about the obstacles that immigrant students face when trying to achieve their dreams of education.


Levante youth created a documentary publication, Life in the Fields, to inform farmworkers how to prevent occupational injury and illness.


In 2006, SAF restructured Levante in order to better meet the needs of farmworker youth. Students created a play, The Price You Pay, to educate others about work conditions faced by farmworker youth.


SAF partnered with the NC Migrant Education Program (MEP) to address the educational needs of migrant students across the state. Through this partnership, SAF:

  • Coordinated College Day visits for nearly 2000 migrant youth,
  • Mentored over 1,000 migrant youth during summer programs,
  • Provided internships for 41 college students to work with migrant youth,
  • Built the self-esteem and cultural awareness of thousands of migrant students through workshops and art-based projects,
  • Provided information about college to hundreds of parents and educators each year, and
  • Assisted local Migrant Education Programs to expand school AIM clubs for migrant students from one to over 50 clubs in 27 counties.


Victor Canales Gamiño
Youth Organizing Director
919- 660-3674