Why my farmworker parents are my inspiration

Alejandro Piñon working as a foreman | Provided photo


By Kimberly Piñon

I chose as the topic of my first story the struggles of local farmworkers during the age of COVID-19. What inspired me to write about this are my parents, who both work for produce companies and face the same challenges to stay healthy and safe at their jobs.

My father, Alejandro Piñon, has been an agricultural worker for 27 years and counting at RC Packing. He first began working in the fields when he came to the United States in 1994 from Morelia, Michoacán.

My father has worked in many produce jobs — packaging for 10 years, five years as a tractor driver, 10 years as a foreman, and he has been a supervisor for about two years. For 20 years he has been working in Yuma, Ariz. from November to April.

He is a hard-working, resilient, and inspiring man who has been working since he was a kid at his parents’ farm, as a mechanic’s assistant, and as a bus driver. He will always be a hard-working man who provides for his family and makes sure that we have everything we need. Despite a life full of hard work and challenges, he is a jokester and a joyful person.

My mother, Antonia Ruiz came to the United States in 2000 from Bocaneo, Michoacán. She has been an agricultural worker for five years in RC Packing and packages produce.

She is an amazing, diligent, and hard-working woman who has also worked very hard from a young age. She has been a nurse, field worker, and a packager. She is a great cook, a very upbeat person and enjoys the little things in life.

Both my parents came to the United States searching for jobs and a better life. They spend many hours at work, but are happy with the decision they made. They have not been back to Mexico since they came here.

They hoped to give me and my sisters a better life, better education, and a better future. My sisters and I are thankful for our parents’ sacrifices and we appreciate what they have given up for us to have many opportunities they never had, and for that I am grateful for my parents. They have always been there for us.

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About Young Voices

Young Voices Media Project teaches Monterey Bay area teens multimedia skills to report the news from their communities. This project was generously supported by the Clare Giannini Fund.