Friday, October 22, 2010

People With No Names - The Undocumented #31

This is an oil sketch on canvas (15"x 21") of 3 workers at a wholesale nursery in the Northwest. I asked permission to talk to the workers. The owner at first stated that all immigrant workers are documented...but then admitted that the agriculture business could not exist without the pool of immigrant labor (documented or otherwise). As is often the case, there was understandable hesitancy and resistance to answering my questions. But as I bumbled along in my rudimentary Spanish, and promised not to use names, the men told me why they came to the U.S. and where they came from. This group came from the states of Oaxaca and Yucatan. All came for the same reason: economic necessity. Even though these men are short in stature and the particular plants are about knee high, the day's work involves bending over all day long. These men are thankful for the work. There is dignity in work and the ability to care for one's family.

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