Monday, May 18, 2009

Migrant workers at home.

Today was a nice day off from work. And how did I spend it? By "working." Anyone who lives here in the golden state knows that farming is a huge part of our state's identity. And for tenss of thousands of people it is a way of life. On East Harney Ln. outside of Lodi is a fairly large immigrant housing project. So tonight I decided to head out there and see if I could document some of the people living there.

Once I got there I immediately approached the first person I saw. Francisco Martinez. He spoke very little English. Just enough to get a basic idea before finding someone else to translate for us. His neighbor was a big help. So once she explained to him what I wanted he welcomed me into his home.

I was welcomed by his parents right away. They were incredibly nice despite our inability to communicate. They even treated me to dinner. It was horrible tasting, but I smiled, had seconds, and said thank you.

I was stunned by their home. It was so bare. So plain.

Not much happened while I was there. Berta, the mother, spent 3 hours cooking, Juan, the father, watched television, Marco, the brother, slept, and Francisco went out and played soccer. Not too terribly different from the typical American family(that is except for the soccer bit).

Francisco Martinez watches a small television in his minimally furnished living room.

Francisco Martinez stretches before going out to play soccer with other residents of the migrant worker camp.

Berta Martinaz serves dinner after 3 hours of preparation.
Brothers Marco, left, and Francisco Martinez rest in their shared room in the early evening.
Berta Martinez prepares a mole sauce was her husband, Juan, watches television nearby.
Berta Martinez tastes a small dollop of mole sauce on her hand while preparing dinner for her family.
Francisco Martinez looks through photos a relative sent to the family in the mail.
Crucifixes hang from a nail near the door of the small Martinez house. Small religious trinkets are all that decorate the bare walls of the small home.

That's it for now. I still have some photos to go through. I always find another one to use.


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