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  • Title: IFS
    Descriptive info: .. Skip to main content.. Versión en Español.. Home.. Settlement in California.. Indigenous Languages.. Hometown Networks.. Demographics.. Indigenous in Mexico.. Education.. Inequity.. Working Conditions.. Housing.. Health.. About IFS.. About Us.. Contact Us.. Links.. Photos.. IFS Final Report.. Welcome to the website for the Indigenous Farmworker Study (IFS).. Here you will find information about indigenous peoples from Mexico who work in California s agriculture.. Click to enter interactive map.. The Indigenous Farmworker Study is a partnership between a group of farm labor researchers and the Indigenous Program of California Rural Legal Assistance (.. CRLA.. ).. The California Endowment provided funding for the study.. This website shares information and insights we learned about the history, languages, demography and culture of indigenous farmworkers, and outlines the economic and social challenges they face.. To get started you may want to click on the.. map of California.. and then on a region of interest to learn more about the indigenous in that area.. Click on the.. map of Mexico.. to learn where in Mexico the indigenous come from.. You can also.. view short videos.. with six  ...   identify who is indigenous.. We included only people from home towns in Mexico where the Native American language is still spoken.. We limited our study to indigenous towns in Mexico whose people have a presence in California agriculture.. The unique needs of California s indigenous farmworkers:.. In California, farmworkers in general, and the indigenous in particular, are undercounted by official census takers.. Ignorance about the indigenous population one of the poorest groups in California has led to widespread unawareness of this community s needs; service providers in some regions may even be unaware of the community s existence.. The language barriers and the unique cultural traits of the population make it critical that customized programs be implemented to accommodate the significant differences with other Mexican immigrants.. The information on the website is presented without describing the methods of data collection or the process of analysis.. For a complete explanation of the sources and methods please turn to the.. Full Report.. (pdf).. Copyright Indigenous Farmworker Study; all rights reserved.. For a complete explanation of the sources and methods please view our.. Final Report..

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  • Title: IFS
    Descriptive info: English Version.. Página principal.. Asentamiento en California.. Lenguas Indigenas.. Redes de Pueblos de Origen.. Datos Demográficos.. Indígenas en México.. Educación.. Injusticia.. Condiciones del Trabajo.. Vivienda.. Salud.. Acerca del ETAI.. Los Autores.. Contacto.. Página de Enlaces.. Informe Final del Estudio.. Bienvenido al web del Estudio de Trabajadores Agrícolas Indígenas (ETAI).. Aquí encontrará información sobre las comunidades indígenas de México que se dedican al trabajo agrícola en California.. Pulse para ingresar en el mapa interactivo.. El Estudio de Trabajadores Agrícolas Indígenas es un proyecto en colaboración de un grupo de investigadores de la mano de obra agrícola y el Programa Indígena de la Asistencia Legal Rural de California (.. por sus siglas en inglés), con patrocinio del California Endowment.. Esta página difunde la información y las conclusiones que recopilamos sobre la historia, las lenguas, los datos demográficos y la cultura de los trabajadores agrícolas indígenas, y también presenta una reseña de los desafíos económicos y sociales que enfrentan.. Pulse para ingresar en el mapa interactivo.. Para empezar, pulse en el.. mapa de california.. y luego pulse en alguna región de interés para leer más sobre las comunidades indígenas de esa zona.. Pulse en el.. mapa de México.. para leer sobre los lugares de México de los  ...   los elementos de la comunidad indígena misma identificar quiénes son personas indígenas.. Incluimos sólo a personas oriundas de pueblos de México en donde se sigue hablando la lengua nativa.. Concretamos nuestro estudio a los asentamientos indígenas en México cuyos habitantes están representados en la agricultura de California.. Las necesidades singulares de los trabajadores agrícolas indígenas de California:.. En California, la mano de obra agrícola en general, y los trabajadores indígenas en especial, no han sido contados de forma precisa por el censo oficial.. La falta de conocimiento sobre los pueblos indígenas los cuales se encuentran entre los grupos de más escasos recursos en el estado ha conducido a una amplia inconsciencia con respecto a las necesidades de este sector; hasta es posible que los prestadores de servicios de algunas regiones ignoren la existencia de dichas comunidades.. La barrera del idioma y las particularidades culturales subrayan la importancia de implementar programas adaptados a sus características específicas para responder a las diferencias significativas con otros grupos que emigran de México.. La información de este web se presenta sin describir los métodos de recolección de datos ni el procedimiento de análisis.. Para una explicación detallada de las fuentes y la metodología, favor de consultar el.. Informe Final..

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  • Title: Settlements in California
    Descriptive info: Settlement in California.. Indigenous enter at the bottom of the labor market.. Indigenous participation in California agriculture expands.. Concentrations of indigenous farmworkers in different parts of California.. Hometown networks help explain settlement patterns.. Temporary migration elsewhere within the United States.. The arduous work of harvesting field crops provides entry-level jobs for Mexican indigenous migrants.. Here a Mixtec farm worker from Oaxaca picks Korean melons, a specialty crop grown grown near Taft, in the vicinity of Bakersfield.. Photo copyright David Bacon.. Mexican indigenous farmworkers are the most recent of many groups that have occupied the bottom rung of the farm labor market in California.. The U.. S.. food system has long been dependent on the influx of an ever-changing, newly-arrived group of workers that sets the wages and working conditions at the entry level in the farm labor market.. The indigenous workers are already dominant in many of the most arduous farm labor tasks (e.. g.. picking raisin grapes and strawberries).. And, the entry-level conditions maintained in these sectors are used to control (and limit) labor costs of the approximately 700,000-strong California farm labor force.. As demand for blueberries has grown, so had the need for workers to pick the fruit, creating another entry-level job for indigenous migrants.. Here a Mixtec from Oaxaca picks blueberries in Lamont, near Bakersfield.. Despite the fact that the indigenous face a multiple obstacles, such as limited financial resources, lack of proficiency in Spanish, and inhabiting remote areas of Mexico, they have nevertheless developed strategies in recent decades to cross the international border into the United States.. In fact, people from the heavily indigenous swath of Mexico south of Mexico City, an area that encompasses the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla, have recently become as actively involved in cross-border migration as are the mestizos from the traditional sending regions of west-central Mexico.. This expanded migration is clearly visible in the increase of indigenous among all Mexican farmworkers in California.. To draw comparisons between the indigenous and mestizos (or non-indigenous) of Mexico, we use the U.. Department of Labor s National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) data.. Since most of the Mexicans from southern Mexico are indigenous and the vast majority of those from the rest of Mexico are mestizos, we make the southern Mexicans our proxy (or stand-in) for the indigenous population.. We admit that this is a far from perfect substitute for a direct comparison, but since none exists in any data source, we use this comparison in the NAWS between southerners and those from the rest of Mexico as the best replacement.. As you can see in the chart below, there  ...   (see the chart below).. The NAWS again corroborates that the proportion of southerners is very high, both along the Central Coast and in the Central Valley.. The NAWS, however, does not give any population estimate.. Population estimates for 12 Agricultural Regions.. Farm workers wash, sort and box Korean melons in a packing shed near Bakersfield.. Almost everyone in this crew lives in Taft and comes from the Oaxacan town of Candelaria de la Unión, in the municipio of San Pablo Tijaltepec.. To fully understand the different types of settlement patterns of indigenous communities, one must recognize that there is an enormous variation among them.. In our study we examined nine quite distinct communities, or.. hometown networks.. , so that we could demonstrate this diversity and assist those who work with indigenous farmworkers come to grips with the variety.. In addition to age of the network, which we define as the average time in the U.. of its members, there are several other important features that characterize the people in the different the networks.. We think the best way to understand these key features is to read through short descriptions of the.. nine communities.. that we came to know the best.. Our information about temporary migration of the indigenous comes entirely from our Indigenous Farmworker Study (IFS).. We need to warn the reader that our information on this topic is incomplete.. Still, we can share certain findings that suggest that temporary migration to do farm work is still a significant activity among indigenous farmworkers.. The IFS allows us to report the percent of time that California-based farmworkers spend outside the state of California while in the United States.. The 400 indigenous farmworkers in our sample, as a group, spent 7% of their time outside the state.. For men the rate was 9%, and for women it was only 2%.. Of course, we are reporting an average.. This means that some of these 400 workers spent considerable time outside the state and others never left at all.. We found that, for those in our survey, Oregon, Florida and Washington are the most frequented migration destinations.. We also asked a group of representatives from 67 home town networks about temporary migration among the California-based people from their home town.. Of the 67 towns, about two-thirds reported having temporary work migration.. About a third of the destinations are in Oregon, a third in Washington, and a third elsewhere in California.. At least for these 67 communities, there are still significant numbers of migrants leaving California for temporary migration destinations every year.. And, significant numbers of them take their families with them..

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  • Title: Indigenous Languages
    Descriptive info: Indigenous Languages.. To approach the indigenous languages of Mexico is to begin to comprehend Mexico s vast cultural and linguistic diversity, and come face-to-face with cultures that have endured for more than 500 years, despite systematic efforts to annihilate them.. While many of the country s indigenous languages and cultures have been lost over that period, linguists document over 350 indigenous, pre-Hispanic languages that are still spoken in Mexico today.. Some of this rich cultural and linguistic legacy is now present in California, as tens of thousands of Mexico s indigenous peoples have come to the United States in search of a path out of poverty.. We outline the facts and issues related to these new language groups in the sections below.. To hear samples of several of these languages, go to our.. video page.. where we present short interviews with speakers of six of these indigenous languages now found in California, with subtitles in English.. Main Mexican languages spoken in California agriculture.. Potential threats to the native languages.. Communication challenges within indigenous families.. Languages found in California.. Main Mexican indigenous languages spoken in California agriculture.. Mexico has over six million native language speakers distributed among many distinct languages.. Only seven of these languages (listed in the 1 below) make up two-thirds of all the indigenous language speakers in Mexico.. Although all seven of these languages are present among by California farmworkers, only speakers of two of these the Mixtecs and the Zapotecs, have a large presence in the state s fields and orchards.. The Mixtecs and the Zapotecs each have about a half million speakers, accounting for those in both the United States and Mexico.. There is a third group with a significant presence in California agriculture, the Triquis, but this is a smaller linguistic community with only about 40,000 speakers in Mexico and the United States combined.. Together, members of these three language groups represent the great majority (about nine out of ten) of the Mexican indigenous farmworkers in California agriculture (see Chart 2, below).. The other groups, such as the Nahuatl and Maya, although numerous in Mexico, have a small presence in California agriculture.. In all, in the Indigenous Farmworker Study, we found.. 23 different indigenous languages.. spoken in California agriculture, representing 13  ...   as soon as the family gets established in the United States.. After the third year in the United States only two in five continue to speak their native language to their children.. There is a major language barrier that exists within families among California s indigenous population.. Many parents speak only Spanish to their children.. The parents are usually most fluent in the indigenous language and speak Spanish in a limited fashion.. But the children, born here or who have come at a very early age, are often more comfortable speaking in English.. Although both parents and children speak some Spanish, it is a second language for both sides, yet it becomes the de facto.. lingua franca.. of the household.. This intra-family language barrier occurs on top of the already extreme cultural shock for these rural and traditional people who are trying to raise their children in an unfamiliar and, for them, an environment that s out of their control.. This language barrier may explain some of the communication problems experienced by clinicians, social workers and educators who attempt to communicate with indigenous parents through their English-speaking children.. In all, in the Indigenous Farmworker Study, we found 23 different indigenous languages spoken in California agriculture, representing 13 different Mexican states.. As noted earlier, Mixtec, Zapotec and Triqui speakers predominate and in the table below they appear in bold.. List of Languages found in the Count of Hometown Networks (2007).. Language.. State of Origin.. 1.. Aleto Cora.. Nayarit, Durango.. 2.. Amuzgo.. Guerrero, Oaxaca.. 3.. Chatino.. Oaxaca.. 4.. Chinanteco.. Oaxaca, Veracruz.. 5.. Chol.. Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche.. 6.. Chontal.. Oaxaca.. 7.. Huichol.. Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco.. 8.. Maya.. Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche.. 9.. Mazateco.. Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz.. 10.. Mixe.. 11.. Mixteco.. Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla.. 12.. Nahuatl.. Puebla, Hidalgo, Veracruz,San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Colima, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Estado de México, Distrito Federal.. 13.. Otomi.. Hidalgo, Puebla, Veracruz, Queretaro, Michoacan, Tlaxcala, Estado de México, Guanajuato.. 14.. Purépecha.. Michoacán.. 15.. Tacuate.. 16.. Taraumara.. Chihuahua.. 17.. Tlapaneco.. Guerrero.. 18.. Tojolabal.. Chiapas.. 19.. Triqui.. 20.. Tzetal.. Chiapas, Tabasco.. 21.. Tzotzil.. 22.. Zapoteco.. 23.. Zoque.. Chiapas, Oaxaca.. The Mexican Institute of Indigenous Languages (.. INALI.. ) has a helpful map displaying the location and distribution of these and other indigenous languages..

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  • Title: Hometown Networks
    Descriptive info: Hometown Networks.. The network approach to understanding Indigenous immigrants.. Understanding the different types of networks.. Obligations to send money and perform community service in Mexico.. The hometown - the cultural focus of indigenous communities.. Brief descriptions of 9 hometown networks.. We use the term hometown network to refer to the social structure that exists among the people from the same village or locality in Mexico.. Social relationships and cultural patterns formed in the hometown are crucial to the behavior of many immigrants from rural areas, and they constitute an internal structure that can provide support and comfort for its members.. This migrant network structure evolved from traditional systems of mutual exchange that exist as survival strategies in poor rural environments.. At first, the pioneering migrants from a given village must overcome great odds when they attempt to cross borders, find housing and obtain employment.. But, over time, those who come first make the process easier for those who follow by sharing shelter and job tips with friends and relatives.. Soon, what started as an opportunity for a pioneering few, becomes available to most people in the hometown.. Indigenous farmworker networks fit this pattern.. Experience has taught them not to trust the outsider who has traditionally discriminated against them.. This tendency is further reinforced by the localized nature of the dialects of the indigenous languages these small town dwellers speak.. Often, people from a nearby town in Mexico may speak their language with a different tone and vocabulary.. What s more, the obligations of mutual help owed to the hometown community create deep bonds among the people from the same hometown.. Usually the property in hometowns is owned by the community.. Those who don t comply with work obligations and leadership assignments can lose their rights to land and even to their houses.. The enduring nature of this commitment to the hometowns helps explain why immigrants from indigenous areas, notwithstanding their longstanding residence in the United States, actually donate more money to community projects in their home community than those who are newcomers to California.. Given that networks play an important role in determining the needs of indigenous immigrants, it is crucial to understand the different types of networks.. Networks vary according to several key features, most notably the length of time they have been in the U.. , the age, gender and educational levels of their members, and the level of material possessions.. Those who seek to improve the lives of the indigenous immigrant community can enhance their effectiveness by learning the type of network to which an individual, family or group belongs.. For a complete discussion of this issue see Appendix II of the.. Asking the following questions will help determine the type of hometown network:.. When did community members start coming to California?.. What is the average age of people in California?.. Is the network made up mostly of families or unaccompanied adult males?.. Are the children mostly living in Mexico or in California?.. What are the average years of school of people in the network?.. Do network members have cars and houses?.. We conducted an in-depth study of nine different networks from nine distinct sending locations.. The brief descriptions of each of the nine appear at the end of this section and highlight the variations among networks.. Some networks have long histories in the United States as migrant communities; others are newcomer networks.. The chart below reveals that a couple of the networks (cuevas, tepos) started coming to California in the 1960s while for others, the very first person did not arrive until the late 1990s (Loxicha).. If we compare the networks by the location of the children in the household, another important feature, we again find vast differences.. In the newly arrived networks (loxicha, jicayan) over 60% of the children are back home in Mexico.. In the more established ones (cuevas, tepos) all the children are in the United States.. The hometown networks also vary widely in the amount of material possessions that they have acquired in the United States.. In the chart below, you can see that for the people from Loxicha only 20% have a car; while for cuevas and tepos, over 70% own a car or truck.. Finally, we show a comparison of a feature that varies greatly across these nine communities--the extent that they are integrated into the majority (mestizo) culture in Mexico before they migrate north.. One way to test this integration is by educational achievement in the hometowns.. Notice that the more integrated communities such as cuevas and tepos average 8 years of school or more while some of the more remote areas such as peras and jicayan average as little as 4 years of school (see the chart below).. A large majority of indigenous immigrants retain a deep sense of obligation and strive to send money to their families and contribute to their communities, be it for the fiesta, the church or a wide array of community improvement projects.. However, the desire to meet these obligations is often blocked by lack of sufficient income in the United States.. New church in Candelaria, Oaxaca, paid for with migrant dollars.. Photo by Rick Mines, 2008.. Once they settle in the United States, the indigenous send less money to their families back in Mexico.. Those whose wife and children are in Mexico must send remittances (money) to their dependent nuclear family frequently, and the unmarried are under strong pressure to remit to support their parents and siblings back home.. However, those who are living with their spouse in the United States believe their first obligation is to support their nuclear family, and feel less obliged to send resources to their parents back home unless they have children being raised by the grandparents.. Surprisingly, as people remain longer in the U.. , and as communities acquire deeper roots north of the border, their rates of giving donations and fulfilling their community obligations do not seem to decrease.. The hometown locality is cherished by the indigenous communities.. First, the agricultural land, water and surrounding pasture and forest lands are usually communally owned and are seen as the source of the uniqueness of the community s culture and of its economic survival.. Moreover, the customs and language of the hometown are the focal points of identity and pride for people who traditionally have lived out their lives according to strict rules of mutual community obligations.. The stringent enforcement of loyalty to their hometown and its customs has ensured their survival as distinct peoples in the face of efforts at cultural extermination, first by the colonial Spanish and then by successive Mexican governments.. The system of indigenous governance and maintenance of community services is known as.. usos y costumbres.. in Mexico.. The customs vary greatly from one indigenous community to another.. However, there are a series of general traits shared by most speakers of the original languages of Mexico.. The land usually cannot be bought or sold and the right to work the land is enjoyed only so long as the community participant is a citizen in good standing.. This implies holding a series of community-service positions or offices, known as.. cargos,.. and complying with short-term work assignments (.. tequio.. Traditionally, there is very little marriage outside the hometown and property changes hands normally through inheritance rather than by sale.. A young girl whose parents are working in California shares a meal with her grandfather in Oaxaca.. Photo by Holly Mines, 2008.. The community citizens living in (or visiting) the home communities meet in assembly in the middle of the year and select the people who will be obligated to carry out the.. cargos.. (offices) in the following year.. This assembly has traditionally been made up of the adult married males in the community.. In recent  ...   amnesty, and settled family-based communities probably didn t appear until the mid-1990s.. They are mostly settled in the San Diego and Santa Maria regions where they work in vegetables and strawberries.. Some in San Diego have found work in construction.. The ability to speak Spanish among the settlers from Piñas is mixed, perhaps a reflection of its isolation and relatively low educational levels.. Despite the relatively early arrival of pioneers, a minority of the settlers are couples living together and a large proportion of the minor children of the settlers are in the village.. No one in the sample owned a home and a minority owned cars.. Cerro del Aire (abbreviation =Cerro)-- medium level of connectedness.. Cerro, which has a Chatino-speaking population, is connected by an improved (graveled) road to the main highway between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca City.. It is a community that until recently has not been exposed to the outside world and has travelled very little around Mexico looking for work, unlike other towns in the study.. Still, some people have settled in Oaxaca City.. In Cerro s case, once people found the means to leave their community, they came straight to the United States.. In California, almost all have followed the lead of one pioneer who arrived in Petaluma in the North Coast region.. They remain concentrated in the North Coast and work in wine grapes and landscaping.. Although the pioneer and his wife came in time for the amnesty of 1986, most Cerro settlers came in the late 1990s and most women came after 2000.. Despite the late entry into the migration stream, most of the settlers from this coastal region speak Spanish well and use it with their children who are resident in California.. Still, the majority of the relatively young settlers (median age=28) have not settled with their spouses in California and a majority of their minor children are still back in Oaxaca.. Candelaria la Unión (abbreviation =Candelaria) newcomer with large presence.. This Mixtec-speaking town, in the.. municipio.. of San Pablo Tijaltepec, is located over a long and tortuous graveled road, an hour from the small city of Chalcatongo de Hidalgo in the district of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.. The people from Candelaria did travel elsewhere in Mexico to work and formed settlements in Baja California and Mexico City.. Although people from the Chalcatongo area have a history of Bracero participation, for the San Pablo Tijaltepec area, migration seems to have been delayed by the poor roads.. They settled very late in California.. The first pioneers did not arrive until the 1990s, and most of the settlers arrived well into the decade of the 2000s.. They settled in the Central Valley in the Bakersfield region (mostly in Taft) and in Santa Maria where they work in grapes, vegetables and strawberries.. Despite their hometown s isolation and their recent arrival, many appear to speak Spanish well and the settlers have a relatively high educational level.. With respect to the presence of the spouse and children, the men of Candelaria have an unusual pattern.. Despite their late arrival in California, their relative youth (median age=27), and the fact that a large proportion (41%) of the minor children are still in the village, an extremely high percentage of those who have settled here are husband and wife couples (78%).. It appears that the people have made the calculation that it is worth having two wage earners in California even if it means leaving the children with the grandparents in the village.. Not surprisingly all are renters, and less than half own cars.. San Martín Peras (abbreviation =Peras) newcomer with large presence.. San Martín Peras, a Mixtec-speaking community located in the far west of Oaxaca near the Guerrero border, is the chief town in the.. of the same name.. It is the region s administrative center and has the largest population of the nine communities under study.. The town was founded and built into a population center only in recent decades.. It is still isolated by poor roads from the city of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, from where the roads lead out of the region.. Despite its remoteness, the people of Peras have travelled widely in Mexico in search of work.. There is a very large settlement of people from the town in the San Quintín Valley in Baja California.. The first pioneers to California came in the late 1970s, but it was not until after the immigration amnesty of 1986 that large numbers crossed the border.. Most men arrived after the late 1990s and most women came after 2000.. They have settled predominantly in the Ventura and Watsonville regions where they work in the strawberry industry.. There is a great deal of seasonal movement between these two regions.. The people of Peras speak Spanish in a very uneven way and have one of the lowest educational levels.. However, like Candelaria, a majority are in California with their spouse.. Again, this is true despite their relatively young age (median age=27) and the fact that a large proportion of the minor children are in Mexico.. None own their houses, though a majority owns a car.. Jicayán de Tovar (abbreviation Jicayán) newcomer with large presence.. Jicayán is a Mixtec-speaking town on the Guerrero side of the border.. It has tortuous roads that until 2008 were impassable in the rainy season.. To reach the outside world, one must pass through Santiago Juxtlahuaca in the neighboring state of Oaxaca, since the town is fairly isolated from the rest of Guerrero.. Despite being isolated by bad roads, people from Jicayán managed to travel to the coast of Guerrero to work in the tourist and construction industry.. They also have travelled to other states in Mexico, though they started in the 1980s, much later than many other towns.. Settlement communities were established in Baja California, Michoacán and Mexico City.. Although one pioneer came to California before the immigration amnesty of 1986, most people came after 2000 (median age=26).. The settlers of Jicayán speak a very poor Spanish in general and their educational level is the lowest among the nine communities.. A minority has spouses living with them and 60% of the minor children of the settlers live back in the hometown in Mexico.. No one owned a home but many had cars which they use to shuttle back and forth between Caruthers/Raisin City and Santa Maria, according to the fluctuating agricultural labor demand in grapes and strawberries.. Magdalena Loxicha (abbreviation=Loxicha) startup newcomer network.. Loxicha, a Zapoteco-speaking town, is located on an unreliable but gravel road in a remote area north of the highway between Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel, Oaxaca.. This town was very late to enter the migrant stream.. There is no evidence of anyone leaving the hometown before 1990.. There are no settlements elsewhere in Mexico.. People came straight to the United States.. No one in the older generation speaks Spanish very well in the town.. However, despite its isolation and lack of migration history, the language skills are changing quickly.. Children converse in Spanish on the streets of the hometown, and the young settler population in California speaks Spanish well.. Though there were isolated pioneers in the 1990s, almost all of the relatively small number of people from Loxicha has come to California since 2000 (median age=25).. They have settled almost exclusively in the San Diego area where they work in the strawberry and tomato fields.. Loxicha is the one town of the nine with very little settlement of women and children.. We found only two women from the community in California and both had very young children.. About 80% of the men in our sample did not have a spouse with them and a large majority of their children were in Mexico.. The men from Loxicha have no houses and only 20% have cars..

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  • Title: Demographics
    Descriptive info: Population estimate.. How we arrived at the estimate.. Two interesting facts about who lives at the indigenous residences.. Many families live with parents or married siblings.. Families are divided between Mexico and the U.. Preteenage children left behind in Mexico.. We estimate that the total population of California s indigenous Mexican farmworkers is about 120,000.. When we add on our estimate of 45,000 children living with them, we presume that there are a total of 165,000 indigenous farmworkers and family members in California (see Appendix III, p.. 120 in Report).. Note that the total population of Mexican indigenous in California is considerably higher since our count does not include those working outside of agriculture, in particular the many who live and work in urban centers such as Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco.. Also, our study does not count non-Mexican indigenous immigrants, such as those from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Peru.. A young Triqui couple in Greenfield in the Salinas Valley.. Most work picking lettuce and other vegetables in nearby fields.. At the beginning of the Indigenous Farmworker Study, we conducted a count of hometown networks.. In this count, we asked a wide array of indigenous people living in rural California about the settlement of people from their hometowns.. All told, we spoke with people from about 350 different hometowns in Mexico and they provided estimates for the number of people from their hometowns living in different parts of California.. We took this information and made an educated guess that about 54,000 people, who originated in those hometowns, now live in rural California.. Since we could not find all the sending hometown networks, we recognize that this is an incomplete count.. We think it is about half the actual population.. To check this, we turned to the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) to make an estimate of all the indigenous Mexican farmworkers in California.. Based on data from this large and long-term survey done by the U.. Department of Labor, we estimated that in the early 1990s there were about 35,000 indigenous farmworkers in California, while in the 2004 to 2008 period there were about four times as many, or 120,000 indigenous Mexican farmworkers.. With the children included, we estimate that there are at least 165,000 indigenous Mexican farmworkers and family members in California.. A Mixtec farm worker and his daughter at home in Taft, near Bakersfield.. A community of several hundred Mixtecs from San Pablo Tijaltepec, Oaxaca live in Taft.. Most have left their children in the care of relatives back in Oaxaca.. These three Mixtec men are also from of San Pablo Tijaltepec, Oaxaca.. They share an apartment  ...   renters at the residences are relative strangers to the core families, these core families are often very closely related.. About one in six of the addresses included married children living in the dwelling together with their parents.. And, in many cases, there is more than one married child at these cross-generational family residences.. In addition, there were quite a few residences (one in twenty) that included married siblings living together.. Again, there are cases where several married siblings live together.. In sum, it is quite common for these addresses to have multiple households from the same nuclear family.. Over all, one in five residences had either married siblings living together, or a parent living with a married child.. In Candelaria de la Unión, a village in the municipality of San Pablo Tijaltepec, Oaxaca, most working-age adults are in the United States.. A few women and the majority of children remain behind in the village.. This woman's husband works in a slaughterhouse in Michigan.. Photo by Holly Mines.. These nuclear families have members divided between Mexico and the United States.. About two thirds of nuclear family members are in the United States, while about one third are in Mexico.. Unsurprisingly, most of the indigenous we found living in the United States are men, while back in the hometowns most are the wives and children of men working in the United States.. In general, the residents of the home towns and villages are mostly older men, women and children since many of the working age men are in the United States.. Carlitos lives in Guadalupe Victoria near San Pablo Tijaltepec, Oaxaca.. Like many children in the community, his parents are working in the United States, sending money home for his support.. Although we found in our survey that children from 0 to 5 are mostly in the United States, the children from 6 to 11 are mostly in Mexico (see Chart below).. These families are leaving their relatively older children in Mexico and then continuing to have children after they arrive in the United States.. In most cases, the grandparents are raising these first born children back in the hometown.. We discovered that in many cases, the young married male indigenous farmworker, who usually came to California ahead of his wife, was later joined by his spouse, while the older children remained in Mexico.. It appears that these families decided that they need the income of both adults.. Later, as the children in Mexico reach adolescence, they begin to come to the United States to work.. The boys come as soon as they reach their teenage years, the girls a bit later..

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  • Title: Indigenous in Mexico
    Descriptive info: Main language groups.. Colonial Period.. Mexican Republic.. The need to migrate.. Migration patterns within Mexico.. The Indigenous Farmworker Study shows clearly that the Mexican indigenous farmworkers who come to work in California are highly concentrated both by place of origin and by language group.. The great majority come from western and southern Oaxaca where three Native American languages predominate Mixtec, Zapotec and Triqui.. In fact, eight out of ten come from the state of Oaxaca.. Another ten percent come from the eastern part of the state of Guerrero, and the remaining ten percent come from other states in Mexico.. Linguistically, over half are Mixtec speakers, about a quarter speak Zapotec and one in ten speaks Triqui.. Only about 10% speak other languages (see the Chart below).. Before the Spanish arrived in the New World, the Mixtec, Triqui and Zapotec lived apart from the rest of Mexico.. They lived in an authoritarian society in which the majority of the population was peasants who paid tribute and had work obligations to a small ruling class.. In the 15th century, not long before the Spanish came, the Aztecs conquered these three peoples.. The Aztecs did not disturb the local power relations but collected taxes and tribute from the elite groups who continued to dominate their ethnic kinfolk.. When the Spanish colonized Oaxaca and Guerrero, conditions changed dramatically for the indigenous people of the area.. The Spanish implemented economic, cultural and demographic policies that devastated not only the native people of Oaxaca and Guerrero, but the natural environment where they lived.. The population, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, was ravaged by disease, abusive labor practices, and the insistence of the Spanish authorities that the people be concentrated in population centers where disease and exploitation further accelerated the demographic collapse.. The Spanish brought in new economic activities that devastated the traditional economy of the region.. Huge acreages were devoted to silk and cochineal dye production and to the grazing of hoofed animals.. In the first hundred years after the Spanish conquest, the population may have declined by as much as 90 percent.. By 1620, the population began to stabilize and slowly recover.. However, it is only in recent decades that the population levels existing before the Conquest have been restored.. After 300 years under colonial rule, the Mexicans declared their independence from Spain in 1810.. But the lot of the indigenous people did not improve under the new republic.. Economic policies opened Mexico to capitalist development and social policies deliberately attempted to eliminate the language and identity of the indigenous peoples.. Reforms often transferred communal lands to private haciendas where the indigenous either worked as low-wage laborers or fled to less fertile areas.. According to official censuses, in 1808, on the eve of independence, 60% of Mexico s population was indigenous; by 1921 that proportion had fallen to 29%.. (Today it is around 6%).. From the point of view of the Mexican government, the indigenous people represented backwardness and were a problem that needed to be eliminated as Mexico modernized.. The attitude of the government and the non-indigenous Mexican population in general has led to a deep-rooted discrimination against the indigenous.. The indigenous have been viewed as peoples worthy only of pity and subject  ...   more convenient imported items.. The old ways had their advantages and people worked in collective agreements to produce many of their necessities.. But these advantages were eroded by the persistent penetration of the outside world.. Outside consumer products were inexpensive and many were more durable.. Imported cloth, hats and shoes soon replaced hand-made manta cloth, palm sombreros and huaraches.. Imports of Coca Cola and Tequila replaced locally made tapache and mezcal.. Plastic buckets replaced earthenware pots and manufactured tiles and corrugated tin replace thatched roofs.. Furthermore, in recent years, the introduction of running water and electricity has opened up a demand for plumbing fixtures and electrical appliances of various kinds and this has also created a need for cash.. In addition to the need to purchase consumer goods, building materials and farm inputs, the eroded terrain has not been able to keep up with the food demands of an expanding population, let alone generate a cash surplus.. The introduction of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and pumps in order to increase production have had unintended consequences in these environmentally marginal environments.. The introduction of gasoline-powered water pumps, while increasing yields, has failed to raise incomes for local producers since intermediaries, mostly city people, who sell the pumps and fuel, and market the commercial commodities, capture most of the extra value produced.. In the meantime, because land and water are allocated to export crops, less of the staple crops destined for local consumption are produced.. The integration of the Oaxaca-Guerrero area into the larger cash economy meant that to survive, local people had to seek cash-paying jobs in order to pay for both the imported consumer goods and to cover the shortfall in food production.. Migration patterns within Mexico:.. When the indigenous first felt the need to migrate to survive, they initially migrated, in large measure, to other parts of Mexico and on a temporary basis.. Many studies have documented these movements.. The work-history interviews we conducted in the Indigenous Farmworker Study confirmed these earlier reports.. The earliest indigenous migrants to California came from the towns near the major roads in Oaxaca; only later did people from the more remote towns join the migrant stream.. In the 1940s, the indigenous were migrating seasonally to Veracruz to cut sugar cane and pineapples.. Then, in the 1960s they began to go to the nearby state of Morelos to work in the vegetable harvest.. In part due to labor recruitment campaigns by employers, the indigenous subsequently undertook the long distance trek further north, to Sinaloa and Sonora to work on vegetables and cotton.. Finally in the 1970s, they crossed over the Sea of Cortez to work in the vegetable and later the strawberry industry in Baja California.. The most important temporary work destination over the years according to our study was Sinaloa.. In addition to reporting their various work destinations, respondents also told us about the places where their communities formed settlements in Mexico.. Migrants from Oaxaca and Guerrero established long-term settlements in agricultural work areas such as Sinaloa, Sonora and Veracruz, while many others settled in the state of Mexico and in Mexico City.. However, by far the most common place to settle over half of the settlements reported in our study was Baja California..

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  • Title: Education
    Descriptive info: The indigenous have less schooling than mestizos.. Low levels of schooling among indigenous accounts for stagnation in education for farmworkers.. Children immigrating after age 11 go to work, not to school.. ">.. Indigenous farmworkers have fewer years of school than their Mestizo counterparts.. This group of young Mixtecs spend spring and summer picking strawberries near Santa Maria.. Despite the reputation of comparatively poor schooling in the indigenous areas, it is difficult to demonstrate in official data that the indigenous have lower educational levels.. Nevertheless, there are two indicators worth highlighting.. First, the National Agricultural Workers Survey for California shows fewer years of school completed in Mexico for young indigenous immigrants than for young mestizos.. For people 18 to 25 years old at the time of the survey, the indigenous averaged 6.. 5 years of school compared to 7.. 3 for the mestizos.. This disadvantage for the indigenous is particularly noticeable for the female population.. Second, there is evidence that in addition to a disadvantage in number of years of school, the indigenous areas also offer a lower quality of education due to lower levels of available resources allocated to these areas and to language barriers.. Elementary school in San Juan Piñas, a remote village in western Oaxaca and home to Mixtec migrants working in San Diego and Santa Maria.. Photo by Sandra Nichols.. Young Mixtec schoolgirl in San Juan Piñas, Oaxaca.. Students rehearsing a dance at the secondary school in San Juan Piñas, Oaxaca.. The town lies more than an hour away from the nearest paved road.. The observation that the indigenous have lower educational levels is not surprising since the indigenous often come from remote towns without educational services.. California s farm labor force is continuously being replenished with young workers from Mexico as older veteran workers leave the fields.. Now, given that the educational level in Mexico has been steadily rising in recent decades, one would expect that the overall educational level of Mexican farmworkers in California to be increasing as well.. However, this is not the case.. This surprising contradiction is in part due to the influx of newcomers from remote indigenous areas.. Consider the following facts.. First, the educational level in Mexico has gone up over time.. Namely, younger Mexicans in general (and younger Mexicans working in California agriculture) have significantly more education than older ones on average (see Chart 1).. The ones who are now over 60 had very little opportunity to go to school at all.. Also, be aware that over time the average age of Mexican workers in California agriculture has not changed very much.. The average age does not change since the labor market is continuously being replenished with new and young workers as older veteran workers leave the fields.. According to the best information, the average age of farmworkers has fluctuated around 30 years old since data collection began by the Department of Labor s National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) in 1989.. As a result, one would expect the average educational level to go up over the decades as the more educated Mexican immigrants enter California agriculture.. But, this has not happened.. From 1989 to 2008, the NAWS shows that for every year  ...   (near Juxtlahuaca).. candelaria.. 7.. 45 minutes.. from Chalcatongo by gravel road.. cerro.. 1.. 45 minutes from Santos Reyes Nopala by gravel road.. venado.. 1 hr, dirt from Putla Villa de Guerrero.. loxicha.. 5.. 5 hrs.. gravel and dirt to main road to Pochutla.. piñas.. 2.. 25 hrs, dirt gravel road to Juxtlahuaca.. peras.. 4.. jicayan.. 3 hrs, gravel dirt to Juxtlahuaca.. Children immigrating after age 11 go to work, not school.. Older indigenous children who arrive after the age of 12 go to work in the fields and are unlikely to finish school.. This Mixtec youth works picking strawberries near Santa Maria.. The age of arrival has a major impact on whether an indigenous immigrant child is able to attend school consistently in the United States or whether instead he or she goes to work in California s fields.. First, notice in Chart 2 below that most indigenous children living in California are U.. -born.. Taken overall, seven out of ten of the U.. indigenous residents less than 18 were born north of the border.. Almost half of the child residents in the households in the Indigenous Community Survey are less than six.. However, as is evident in Chart 2, the older the child, the greater the likelihood of being born in Mexico.. For those over 11, most of the indigenous children were born in Mexico.. Indigenous children who immigrate before the age of 12, or who are born in the U.. , have a greater chance of getting an education.. The parents of these young Mixtecs are from San Martin Peras, Oaxaca.. The family lives near Watsonville and works in the strawberry fields.. First, let us discuss how a later age of arrival handicaps the educational achievement of the indigenous immigrant child.. Looking just at young people 17 to 20 for which we have information from our survey, we find that those that came before age 12 eventually achieved a median of 10 years of school while those who came at 12 or older only achieved a median of 7 years of school.. In Chart 3, one can observe a major shift when age of arrival is approximately 10 or 11 years old.. After this age, educational achievement (above the eighth grade) becomes less likely.. It is apparent that age of arrival becomes critical for education.. Not surprisingly, among the U.. -born in our survey, the achievement is even higher still.. The typical years of school achieved for these U.. citizens is 11.. 5 years.. Moreover, young people who arrive after 11 years old don t go to school, in part, because they work in the fields.. Among the Mexican-born children from 15 to 17 found in our survey, over two-thirds arrived at age 12 or older.. And, as shown in Chart 4, the vast majority of those who arrived at 12 years or older work a month or more per year in the fields, while the majority of those 15 to 17 year olds who came earlier in their life do not work in agriculture.. It is clear that age of arrival determines to a large extent both whether one works in the fields and the eventual level of education..

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  • Title: Inequity
    Descriptive info: Inequity.. The indigenous are at a disadvantage both in Mexico and the United States.. Why are the indigenous in California poorer than mestizos?.. Measures of the disadvantages in the United States.. Those able to stay for years in agriculture see improvement in status.. Lives for indigenous as a group has not improved.. Indigenous find less work and suffer worse conditions than mestizos.. Strong ties to Mexico affect acquisition of U.. assets.. A woman in San Juan Piñas preparing a "tlayuda," a Oaxacan-style tortilla.. Many of her relatives work in Santa Maria, California.. On average, the indigenous people living in Mexico are poorer, less educated, and have higher infant mortality rates than the mestizo Mexican population.. There are several factors that account for this.. First, though many thousands of indigenous have migrated to the large urban centers in Mexico, and to areas near the border with the United States, most still live in remote villages and towns with few services.. Another contributor to their disadvantaged status is the historical discrimination they endured at the hands of colonial and Mexican governments, and the continuing discrimination they face from Mexico s mestizo population today.. As a group, they have been intentionally deprived of employment and educational opportunities and public services proportionate to their share of the population.. Lower levels of health, education and income for the indigenous, as compared to the mestizos, also persist in large Mexican cities, in the Mexican border areas, and in California.. The relative status of the indigenous does not improve when they come to the United States.. The indigenous compared to the mestizos who work in California agriculture have lower incomes and worse working conditions, fewer assets, speak less English (and Spanish), and are more frequently separated from their family residing in Mexico.. As stated above the indigenous are a poorer group in Mexico even before they arrive in the United States.. But, in addition, compared to the mestizos, the indigenous farmworkers are a more recently-arrived (newcomer) group than the more established mestizo Mexican immigrants.. This status of new arrivals in large part explains their poverty.. These young Zapotec farm workers walk out of a field in Santa Maria after having asked the foreman of a crew picking strawberries if there was any work for them.. Farmworkers of both groups are on average quite young when they first cross the border.. The typical age of first crossing the border for both groups is about 20 years old.. However, the mestizos in the United States are much older on average since they have been here much longer.. Notice in Chart 1 that at the same time that the age of the typical mestizo farmworker is increasing (somewhat) over these years, the age of the typical indigenous farmworker is not.. The average age of an indigenous in recent years (2006 to 2008) has been about 25; while for the mestizos, the average is closer to 35.. [.. For a discussion of the methods used to compare mestizo and indigenous workers in the National Agricultural Workers using South and the Rest of Mexico as proxies survey data, see.. , p.. ].. A young Mixtec from Miahuatlan, Oaxaca picks weeds by hand in a carrot field in the Salinas Valley.. Again, why are the indigenous younger? This is true because many more of the indigenous have just recently arrived north of the border than the mestizos.. This latter group has had time to age and gain experience in the United States.. The typical indigenous person has been here only three years while the typical mestizo has been here for ten years.. If you look at Chart 2 below, you will see that this difference between the two groups regarding the amount of time in the United States has actually expanded over time.. In the 2006 to 2008 period for example, the typical years in the United States for an indigenous worker is only two years, while for a typical mestizo it is 11 years.. It is clear that the villages of origin of the indigenous (at least for those working in California agriculture) are on average much newer to international migration than mestizo villages.. For this reason, the indigenous settlements are still composed of new, and young, arrivals while the mestizo hometowns with a long migratory history have a large proportion of settled veterans in the United States.. Though there are plenty of newcomers continuously arriving from mestizo hometowns, the proportion of newcomers is much higher in the indigenous population.. Their status as recent arrivals explains in large measure why the indigenous earn less, have fewer  ...   ownership well above 50 percent.. On the other hand, the indigenous have consistently had a low rate of car ownership.. In fact, as a group, the indigenous have actually lost ground.. In the 1994-1996 period, 30 percent had cars in the group, while throughout the decade after 2000 barely 20 percent have had cars.. This same pattern of improvement for the group of mestizo farmworkers, compared to a stagnation among the indigenous, can also be observed in the acquisition of houses.. Chart 5, above, shows that the indigenous, who have always had less than a five percent rate of home ownership, continue at a very low rate as a group.. Meanwhile, the group of mestizo workers, who always had rates of ownership above 10 percent, has in recent years increased that proportion to almost 20 percent.. The indigenous appear stuck at the bottom of the labor market and are less able than mestizos to adapt to U.. society.. This relative disadvantage in cars and houses held by the indigenous as compared to the mestizos underlines the importance of measuring the assets held by different groups of farmworkers.. Since wages per hour do not vary very much among farmworker groups, a comparison of assets is often a better way to measure the relative well being of different groups.. And, these measures show that the indigenous are much worse off.. Many farm workers must pay a "ritero" or labor contractor for transportation to the fields.. In Oxnard, indigenous migrants line the sidewalks in the early morning waiting for their ride to work.. The pattern of reward for experience also applies to wages and working conditions.. The newcomers of both groups earned on average during the three years (2006 to 2008) about $7.. 50 an hour while the veteran workers with more than 9 years in the United States earned about $9.. 00 an hour.. The wage per hour probably is not much lower for the indigenous than for mestizo farmworkers.. Since the typical farmworker has difficulty working as many hours per year as he or she would like, the income of farmworkers is at least as much related to how many hours per year they work as it is to how much they earn per hour.. The lower average incomes of the indigenous means that they are working fewer hours per year than the Mexican mestizo immigrants.. Although wages per hour may not be lower for the indigenous, working conditions probably are.. One important gauge is whether the workers feel obliged to pay for rides to work.. Many foremen take advantage of the most vulnerable among farmworkers by charging them to get to work.. Chart 6 demonstrates again, the more entrenched farmworkers suffer from this practice much less than the newcomers.. And the indigenous (in all the length-of-stay groups) have to put up with this practice much more than the mestizos.. For the indigenous, the practice affects over 30 percent, even for those who have been here from 6 to 8 years.. For the indigenous that have lived in the United States for more than 9 years, still 15 percent have to pay for rides from raiteros.. The predominantly mestizo workers are much less exposed to this abuse.. By the time they are experienced workers with 9 years or more in the country, only 5 percent are paying for rides.. Strong ties back to Mexico affect acquisition of U.. New home construction in San Juan Piñas, Oaxaca.. Migrants working in California send money home to build their dream houses.. One final observation helps explain why the indigenous have so few assets in the United States.. The indigenous are more likely to use their limited resources to acquire and hold on to assets in Mexico than other Mexicans.. And, this is true even for those indigenous who stay for long periods in the United States.. Comparing the indigenous and mestizos who stay a long time in the United States, we find that the indigenous demonstrate more interest in maintaining homes in Mexico.. In Chart 7, one can observe that for the indigenous, the proportion maintaining a home in Mexico does not decline as much as for the mestizos.. For those indigenous who have been in the United States for 9 or more years, the rate of maintaining a house stays at a high level (48%) while for the mestizos the rate drops off to 37%.. It may be that the indigenous are more likely to use their limited resources to maintain assets in Mexico because of a relatively stronger cultural bond to their hometown than the mestizos..

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  • Title: Working Conditions
    Descriptive info: Working conditions.. Low wages.. Poor working conditions.. Worker complaints.. LAMONT, CA - 12JUNE09 - Migrant indigenous Mixtec farm workers from Oaxaca pick blueberries.. Copyright David Bacon.. As part of the Indigenous Farmworker Study we conducted an in-depth survey of 400 workers in 2008 which we call the Indigenous Community Survey (ICS).. Although the ICS only reports data from nine hometown networks, it sheds light on wages and working conditions that we believe are representative for indigenous farmworkers as a whole.. Our survey showed remarkably low wages for indigenous farmworkers.. In 2008, two thirds of the indigenous farmworkers in the survey earned at the minimum wage or below.. One third of the workers earned above the minimum wage ($8.. 00 per hour), one third reported earning exactly the minimum and one third reported earning below the minimum.. When reviewing the descriptions of the wages and working conditions, one needs to remember that all of the groups (on average) are poorly paid and endure difficult treatment.. Like other farmworker surveys, this survey confirms that wages do not rise with age, nor much with the length of time spent in the United States.. For example, in Chart 1 below, we see that newcomers average $7.. 50 while more experienced workers have only a modestly higher average at $8.. 25 per hour.. In fact, after the indigenous workers have been in the country 5 years, wages appear to stagnate, reflecting the fact that, as a rule, experience is not rewarded with significantly higher wages in California s fields.. The modest variation in wages among groups may not mean that working and living conditions are any better for those with the higher wages.. As we discuss below, many times those with relatively higher hourly wages are working for a piece rate in a sped-up work environment with equally poor working conditions.. Although wages don t vary much by age or time in the country, there are significant differences in wage levels among different crops and regions of California.. The three main crop activities of the respondents in the Indigenous Community Survey were vegetables, grapes and field-fruit (mostly strawberries).. A few workers reported working in citrus and tree fruit.. Vegetables and grape workers reported earning slightly above minimum wages on average, while field-fruit, citrus and tree-fruit workers reported an average below the $8.. 00 per hour minimum (see Chart 2).. These higher wages by crop reflect regional differences.. In Santa Rosa, indigenous workers have benefitted from the relatively high hourly wages in the local grape industry; and in Salinas workers have on average earned above the minimum because of the relatively high hourly wage paid in the vegetable industry.. In all other areas, the average wage was at or below the minimum (see Chart 3, below).. In general, workers in Santa Maria, Oxnard, and Watsonville worked in the relatively low-wage strawberry industry.. In San Diego, workers worked in the low-wage strawberry and tomato crops, while in Bakersfield and Fresno grapes predominate.. SANTA MARIA, CA - 16FEBRUARY09 - Indigenous Mixtec and Zapotec farm workers from Oaxaca and Guerrero pick strawberries in the crew of foreman Eugenio Cardenas of the Central Coast company.. The berries will be marketed by Green Giant.. Workers bring the strawberries they've picked to the checker, who inspects the berries and then punches a ticket that keeps track of  ...   vs.. 21%).. LAMONT, CA - 11JUNE09 - Migrant indigenous Mixtec farm workers from Oaxaca cut and pack cabbage for Grimmway Farms.. Although the sample is very small, the women in the ICS earn less and are more poorly treated than men.. First, there is a significant advantage in wages for men over women.. Well over half the women earned below the minimum while only about one quarter of the men did.. They also appear (recall the small sample) to suffer from worse working conditions.. Compared to men, they pay more often for their equipment (58% vs.. 48%), they pay more often for rides (31% vs.. 24%), and more of the women than the men are paid by the piece rather than by the hour (44% vs.. 34%)--see Chart 4, below.. In sum, although it can be shown that two regions Santa Rosa and Salinas pay higher (although still low) wages to indigenous farmworkers, the working conditions in these and other areas are uniformly poor.. A slightly higher wage may reflect a sped-up piece-rate-based work environment rather than better conditions for the workers.. The workers in the Indigenous Community Survey were asked if they would like to make a legal demand regarding the complaints that they have against employers, landlords or others.. Just under one in five had a complaint.. Most of the legal complaints were related directly to the work site (see Table 1, below).. The biggest complaint was non-payment of wages or being underpaid relative to what the employer had promised before the work began (27%).. Several workers complained that the foremen would dock them pay without explanation, or would undercount the boxes (in strawberries) or pounds (in the case of peas) in order to underpay the workers.. Another 15% complained about the working conditions.. The workers often mentioned foremen that yelled at the workers or did not provide water or bathrooms in the fields.. Another common complaint was having their injuries ignored or their doctors bills unpaid by the responsible employer (10%).. Several said that foremen refused to take them to the doctor after an injury.. Apart from the workplace, the most common complaint stemmed from an inability to make themselves understood by authority figures in California (25%).. The workers complained of accidents that could not be resolved and of fraud they had suffered that they could not find help for.. One 47-year-old Mixteco man in Oxnard complained that a money transfer company took his money to send to Mexico but that it never reached the destination.. He could not recover his money.. Some complained of outright discrimination due to the inability to speak Spanish well.. One 60-year-old Triqui-speaking woman in Greenfield complained that the foreman waved her off pretending like he didn t understand her when she complained in broken Spanish that he was undercounting her pounds picked.. Another 54-year old Triqui in Santa Rosa complained that other workers and foremen made fun of his Spanish language skills humiliating him in front of other workers.. Table 1.. Legal Complaints by Workers.. Type of complaint.. Percent.. Underpaid or not paid at all.. 28.. 8%.. Discrimination and inability to complain due to language barriers.. 25.. 4%.. 3%.. Foreman Ignored an injury or illness.. 2%.. Abuse by a Landlord or Merchant.. A Problem with the Police.. Other Problem.. Source: Indigenous Community.. Survey -- 59 Complaints..

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  • Title: Housing
    Descriptive info: Indigenous farmworkers throughout California face consistently appalling living conditions and the degree of crowding is truly remarkable.. Additionally, some still live in make-shift shelters or without shelter at all.. Types of dwellings.. Rents.. Crowding.. Complaints about conditions.. Conditions observed by research team.. Many indigenous farm workers live in rundown apartment complexes like this one near Bakersfield, at the southern end of California's Central Valley.. Most indigenous individuals and families live crowded in apartments or rented houses or trailers.. A considerable proportion (about one in ten) lives in barracks, make-shift buildings and vehicles behind houses, and other structures.. Finally, there is a relatively small group who live in the canyons of northern San Diego County and elsewhere in the state outside in caves or in plastic structures.. Few indigenous farmworker families own the dwelling they occupy.. In our survey (the Indigenous Community Survey) only about one in 10 owned the dwelling they lived in and most of these were trailers.. In the bigger, more complete survey done by the Department of Labor called the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) only one in 25 of Southern Mexicans (most of whom are indigenous) own their home.. Several Mixtec families from San Pablo Tijaltepec in Oaxaca share the same apartment near Bakersfield.. The IFS found people living in extremely crowded conditions.. This Mixtec farm worker is from San Pablo Tijaltepec in Oaxaca.. He and his son share a room with several other adults and children near Bakersfield.. Almost all indigenous farmworkers are renters and many live in dwellings where many families and individuals share the rent.. In the Indigenous Community Survey, we found that families were paying about $400 a month, while individuals paying rent for just one person were paying about $150 per month.. The rents seem to be similar regardless of whether the farmworkers live in houses, apartments or trailers.. Not surprisingly, the rents vary greatly according whether the people live on the coast or in the interior farm regions of California.. For example, in our Indigenous Community Survey we found that a typical rent for a family in the coastal areas varied from $400 to $700, while in the Central Valley, indigenous farmworkers pay much more modest rents.. They vary from $280 to $350 per month.. The indigenous farmworkers who own their own dwellings are a very small proportion of the overall population and are more likely to reside in the interior regions of the state rather than on the coast.. With rents in California's coastal regions often double those in the Central Valley, indigenous farm workers endure conditions of extreme crowding.. The 8 adults and 4 children of this extended Mixtec family from Oaxaca live in a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Watsonville.. With the high cost of housing in the coastal regions, this Mixtec family cooks and sleeps in a camper in a 'colonia' outside Watsonville.. They are part of a sizable community of Mixtecs from San Martin Peras who work in the area's strawberry fields.. Some farm workers find housing in labor camps, such as this one in the Watsonville area.. Most of the workers at this camp are Mixtec and Triqui-speaking migrants from southern Mexico.. This couple shares a room with six other people.. The level of crowding is severe.. Census Bureau defines crowdedness by the total number of people sleeping in the dwelling divided by the total number of rooms (excluding the kitchen).. If there are more than one and a half people (1.. 5) per room, the dwelling is considered extremely crowded.. In the Indigenous Community Survey, we found the typical dwelling far exceeded this level  ...   east of Watsonville.. The indigenous we interviewed for the Indigenous Community Survey had lots of complaints about their living conditions.. Despite the fact that many seemed shy about complaining, two out of five listed one or more specific complaint.. One can see in the chart below that the main problem is lack of heating or air conditioning.. Next in importance is a leaking roof.. Third in significance are plumbing problems followed by people who say that their appliances are not working.. Many complained of rats and insect infestation, and many reported that the landlord was inattentive to their complaints (see the chart, below).. Conditions reported by the interviewers.. The garages of suburban homes in farm towns throughout California are often converted and rented to farm workers.. This Mixtec family, from San Martin Peras in the state of Oaxaca, lives together in a garage on the outskirts of Oxnard.. The parents work in the strawberry fields of Ventura county.. Our research team recorded observations during their interviews that give a feeling for the living conditions endured by indigenous immigrants.. For example, in Watsonville and Salinas where we recorded the highest rates of crowding, our researchers noted the following:.. In Watsonville (Pájaro and Lomas) and Salinas we began interviewing families who live in garages or in small rooms without a kitchen, without a bathroom, without heat and with a single bulb for lighting.. These families had to ask permission to use the bathroom and the kitchen, and only according to a set schedule.. We were struck by the lack of material possessions among the families from San Martín Peras.. We met families who offered us the only plastic chair they possessed.. In that house our interviewer had to conduct the interview while seated on a clothes basket and the interpreter sat on a plastic bucket.. The family sat on the floor.. In the crowded Ventura region, our researchers recorded this observation:.. In Santa Paula and in Fillmore, in almost all the apartments where we conducted interviews we found several families or several single men living in the same apartment.. The families rent a room and the single men rent space on the living room floor.. In Santa Maria interviewers noted the following extreme situation:.. We interviewed a woman last night who lived in an ordinary-looking 1930s suburban house with a detached garage in back.. She informed us that in addition to herself and her two young daughters there were another 38 people living at the address.. There were 19 kids, 16 solo males (10 living in the garage), plus 6 women and only one bathroom.. The men bathe in back with the garden hose.. Finally, in the Bakersfield region, interviewers observed the following conditions:.. While in Taft I interviewed a woman and noted cockroaches moving about on the floor and on the wall behind her.. No one mentioned them, nor made any complaints about the apartment.. There are three couples living in the apartment.. Two couples sleep in the bedroom upstairs and the third couple sleeps in the living room.. We realized there was fear we would discover how many people are living in a house, apartment, and room or garage because people are afraid that if it s known, someone might come to evict them, i.. the owner, the manager, the city or some other authority.. We were able to speak with the owner of some apartments who told us that he s found up to 15 people living in a single apartment, but for security and for their own good he s established a rule of a maximum of 10 per apartment..

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