Farmworkers celebrate their annual Fiestas Patrias

Special to the Immokalee Bulletin A few friendly competitions, including sack racing, punctuated the festivities.

Special to the Immokalee Bulletin
A few friendly competitions, including sack racing, punctuated the festivities.

With the start of the 2016-2017 tomato season right around the corner, farmworkers and their families are making their way back to Immokalee after a long, hot summer of following the tomato harvest. And for the second year in a row, Immokalee workers were not alone in their annual trek north: Tomato pickers in six states along the East Coast received visits from the Fair Food Program’s CIW education team this summer, learning about their fundamental human rights on northern FFP farms.

Special to the Immokalee Bulletin The Coalition of Immokalee Workers gathered Sunday to celebrate Fiestas Patrias celebration at the CIW community center. The crowd was treated to a particularly special performance by the Women’s Group of a traditional Oaxacan dance, serving both as a piece of home for those from Southern Mexico and a beautiful display of cultural tradition for everyone else.

Special to the Immokalee Bulletin
 A  special performance by the Women’s Group of a traditional Oaxacan dance, serving both as a piece of home for those from Southern Mexico and a beautiful display of cultural tradition for everyone else.

This past Sunday — as happens this time every September — the CIW hosted hundreds of returning workers for the celebration of the Fiestas Patrias, marking the independence holidays of Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries in Central America. The annual celebration coincides with the launch of the full slate of community activities that have always been at the heart of the CIW’s work: Wednesday membership meetings, Sunday Women’s group meetings, the daily traffic at the CIW’s co-operative run store, all-day programming of the Coalition’s low-power community radio station, Radio Conciencia 107.7, and much more.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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