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The Farmworkers' Journey

Ann Lopez (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 361 pages
ISBN: 9780520250734
June 2007
$34.95, £27.00
Other Formats Available:
Illuminating the dark side of economic globalization, this book gives a rare insider's view of the migrant farmworkers' binational circuit that stretches from the west central Mexico countryside to central California. Over the course of ten years, Ann Aurelia López conducted a series of intimate interviews with farmworkers and their families along the migrant circuit. She deftly weaves their voices together with up-to-date research to portray a world hidden from most Americans—a world of inescapable poverty that has worsened considerably since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. In fact, today it has become nearly impossible for rural communities in Mexico to continue to farm the land sustainably, leaving few survival options except the perilous border crossing to the United States. The Farmworkers' Journey brings together for the first time the many facets of this issue into a comprehensive and accessible narrative: how corporate agribusiness operates, how binational institutions and laws promote the subjugation of Mexican farmworkers, how migration affects family life, how genetically modified corn strains pouring into Mexico from the United States are affecting farmers, how migrants face exploitation from employers, and more. A must-read for all Americans, The Farmworkers' Journey traces the human consequences of our policy decisions.
List of Illustrations

1. The Farmworkers’ Journey
2. Mexico’s Historical Farming Practices
3. Aspects of Mexico’s Agricultural Political Economy
4. Migration Northward to Central California
5. Immigration Experiences
6. California’s Corporate Agribusiness
7. Farmworkers in Central California’s
Corporate Agribusiness
8. An Impoverished, Endangered, and Overworked People
in the Land of Plenty
9. Farmworker Household Survival in Central California
10. Meanwhile, Back on the Farm
11. Transnational Corporations and the U.S. Legacy in
West-Central Mexico
12. Endangered Mexican Farmers
13. Institutional Oppression in the West-Central Mexico Countryside
14. Toward an Enlightened Perception of California’s
Mexican Agricultural Immigrants

Appendix A: Agrochemical Inventories and Classifications
Appendix B: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Ann Aurelia López received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She recently completed a President's Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a long history of teaching Environmental Science, Ecology and Botany courses in the Department of Biology at San Jose City College. She is currently a Research Associate at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is in the process of establishing a non-profit organization designed to improve the lives of California farmworkers and their families in Mexico.
“Through macro- and micro-details, Lopez humanizes the issues of globalization, especially the poverty that cascades down upon low-paid workers. . . . An important book for many reasons.”—Santa Cruz Sentinel
"In The Farmworkers' Journey, Ann Lopez provides a very readable account of the human instinct for survival associated with placing agriculture products on the tables of U.S. residents. Her years of scholarly research conducted living among farmworker families provides a firsthand account of the trials, tribulations, health and social relationships of people that keep them forever attached to the soil in both the U.S. and Mexico. Her revelation of how agribusiness is subsidized by the sacrifices of farmworker families should substantially moderate the hysterical voices that mitigate the reasoning needed to address the undocumented issue as behooves a democracy."—J. V. Martinez, federal government executive, and a founder of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

"This book tells a powerful and moving story of lives affected by agricultural and trade policies, migration, and the dehumanization of farm workers. The text is an eye-opening blend of academic research and testimonials of the people directly touched by the powerful market forces that have been unleashed by trade liberalization. Lopez brings together different analytical dimensions that are normally treated separately, moving through these dimensions with an ease indicative of her extraordinary talent and expertise."—Alejandro Nadal, Science, Technology and Development Program, El Colegio de México

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