– José Duran, 2022 SAF Intern, NC Farmworkers' Project
Who would’ve thought just an average man from a small town in Idaho would be all the way on the eastern side of the United States working towards farmworker justice?
I never imagined I would be in this position doing something so impactful. Let me tell you who I am first, and where I come from.
I am from la espiga y la cebolla, where these crops seem to be the only thing a farmworker in Idaho sees.
I am from random carne asadas on Saturday, to posole and tamales every time I visit from school.
I am from a family whose mother has to work almost every day in order to provide for her daughters and only son.
I am from ponte las pilas to échale ganas from a hardworking mother.
I am from a community who has praised me for wanting to do better even though the biggest doubters were my insecure thoughts about myself.
I am from the countless sunny days of long work in the awful western sun.
I am a worker
I am brown
I am strong
I am José Duran.
Now that you know who I am, I’d like to share with you all why I’m here. Having the opportunity to become a SAF intern this summer has been extraordinary. I have already learned so much about the injustices many farmworkers continue to face on a daily basis. Though the way I have learned so much is through storytelling: life experiences seem to be how I have connected with the rest of the cohort. At first, I was very hesitant to travel such a long distance – meeting new people was always a weakness and something I dreaded. But right away I was opened up to a whole new world: 25 amazing individuals working towards health, legal aid, community organizing, and migrant education for farmworkers.
I will be placed this summer working together with the NC Farmworkers' Project doing health outreach with farmworkers. Though it's not my career goal, I know that this experience is going to change my life, and create an impact on farmworkers looking for a better life. Being a farmworker myself I know that this experience will hit home. I'm excited to share with you all the outreach and amazing work I will be doing. Keep an eye out for me, maybe a man from a small town in Idaho will open your eyes.