With many people working during the pandemic, a North County group gathered to thank farmworkers by having a “Caravan of Appreciation.”
Those who joined in the car parade want to remind people farmworkers are still out in the fields maintaining the region's food supply during COVID-19.
“We want to bring light to the importance of their labor and the essential nature of their labor,” said Maria Figueroa, a volunteer with FarmWorker CARE Coalition.
The car parade was organized by the FarmWorker CARE Coalition which works in improving conditions for North County agriculture workers and their families.
The caravan started in Carlsbad and then the parade of cars went to farms in Vista, Bonsal, and Oceanside waving banners, holding up signs, and thanking farmworkers who are working right now, often in conditions that do not allow for social distancing.
“I think it’s extremely uplifting and that’s the symbolic nature of this caravan, to bring light to that important work and to also inspire them and to share with them that we see them and acknowledge their work,” Figueroa said.
A donation drive was also held during Saturday’s event, where masks, diapers, laundry detergent, and tarps were collected for the farmworkers.
“Actually, my grandma when she first came to this country, she was 16 and she was also a strawberry picker, so we’re just here to support her, support our family, support our community,” said Jose Martinez, who participated in the caravan and donated items.
The car parade was just an idea a few days ago and organizers said it came together quickly.
“We organized within five days, literally grassroots, and I think it just demonstrates the power of community. It demonstrates the power of solidarity and recognition that this entire nation and region has on-farm labor,” Figueroa said.
On Sunday, a local chef will cook lunch for 50 farmworkers as a way to stay thank you.