Aaron Sánchez Guerra completed this photo essay while working at North Carolina Farmworkers Project, a nonprofit in Durham, NC.
DURHAM, NC — The state of North Carolina has long been a household name in Mexico, as fathers and sons disappear from their homes for six to 10 months at a time to work, usually to pick tobacco and sweet potatoes.
In a state that has gone from a Latino population of 76,000 in 1990 to 1.26 million last year, according to 2017 Census data, these workers’ presence in the state’s rural agricultural towns is felt. In 2004, for instance, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee accomplished a historic collective bargaining agreement with Mt. Olive Pickles that secured special rights and union contracts for seasonal farmworkers after a five-year boycott.
Meanwhile, the 2017 Census data also showed that four agricultural counties where a vast majority of farmworkers stay —Johnston, Sampson, Harnett and Duplin— are all 67% or more white. All four counties voted majority Republican in the 2016 presidential elections.
Harboring Mexican cultural havens in a conservative region with Confederate tendencies, North Carolina’s farmworkers hold stories far more striking than the miles of fields and silence that surround them away from home. The photo essay below…….
To read full story and view photos, please visit: http://latinousa.org/2018/08/08/northcarolinaphotoessay/