A Small Bite in a BIG Meal

Francisco - las vegas, New Mexico
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: equality
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I believe that the workers that harvest our food should be treated and paid fairly. I believe in Fair Trade.

A month ago I went on a trip to Mexico with my school and I saw farmers who did not get paid enough to live on. I learned these people were either going to risk their lives and try to cross the border to be migrant farm workers in the United States or stay and try to make it by trying to get a job in a factory.

It’s not easy to cross the border legally since the wall and border patrol were placed. A border activist who led us in a ceremony said, ‘’There has been more then 50 dead bodies just in the Arizona border crossing area since the beginning of the year.’’

We met former farmers from Chiapas who had left their land because they weren’t getting paid enough for their corn or coffee. They decided to stay in Mexico, and live in small cinder-block houses and add on to them with wood pallets by nailing them together into a wall. These walls are covered by any cheap substance they can find(such as card board). It was a great experience to get to open my eyes to actually see that some people don’t get paid enough to do the hard farm work they do.

The farm workers who don’t get paid fair wages and have no health care, or proper housing, utilities, and get rained on by pesticides, are sadly the majority. The minority are those who get paid fair wages and get proper housing and get health care and don’t get rained on by pesticides. The minority are the ones who are thriving. What I believe is the majority should be the ones thriving, if not the whole world. Everyone likes fairness but we don’t always give it to other people, especially those who need it the most.

We visited some workers who do get paid enough, which are the people who work for Café Justo. At this worker owned coop they were supporting 52 farming families in Vera Cruz and they treat the coffee and workers with care I was relieved to see that some people are actually thinking about helping people besides themselves.

I believe food gets positive energy from the people who harvest it if they are happy and healthy. This makes for a much more satisfying taste. I believe that food that comes from the workers that aren’t paid enough has a great amount of negative energy and makes it taste horrid. Because non-fairtrade is now the majority it makes it seem unavoidable. So lets make fair trade unavoidable by convincing people to pay workers more.

I believe Fair Trade is a great idea.