Angel Venegas Alonso, 2021 SAF intern
Good Samaritan Clinic
When asked “where are you from?” I always have to stop and think about it. I never really knew how to explain where I’m from, who I am, and sometimes where I’m going. With time, I managed to realize that the best way to approach these questions is to approach them based on values. What values were instilled in me in the past, what values I hold close to me now, and why?
I’m from a very poor town in the middle of Mexico (literally, in Zacatecas). I was raised by my grandparents with the values of hard work and humility. Having to work every day to earn the day’s spending and not eating more than twice a day one too many times. Coming from a place where the average education was finishing the 5th grade and dropping out to work. From these experiences, I learned the value of hard work. I also learned humility. My grandparents taught me that no matter where I am, whether it’s a good place or not, I’m there for a reason. I can’t forget the process it took to get where I am, and to analyze the work behind every achievement. Knowing what it feels like to be at the bottom, always having to look up to people and feeling "inferior” helps me be humble around others and to be compassionate of their feelings.
Being raised by farmworkers and being a farmworker myself, I have experienced many of the hardships that farmworker families face. I understand what long days under the heat – days without seeing your family, experiencing pesticide illness, and scarce resources – can do to a family. I want to share my knowledge with farmworkers and help them in any way I can, as well as learning from their experiences. I want to find out what their struggles are and what some possible solutions might be in order to act on them both here in North Carolina and back in my home state of Idaho. It’s a goal of mine to run for office in 2030, and I am excited to start doing outreach now.