Sharon Zavala is a Humility of Mary volunteer in Immokalee, Florida. She works at the Guadalupe After-school Program, tutoring immigrant children who live in low-income households, and at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, where she helps educate consumers on the issue of farm labor exploitation. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she holds a bachelor's degree in both environmental studies and Spanish language from Allegheny College, where she was involved with the Latino organization on campus as secretary and was an active member of Students for Environmental Action. She was the Spanish tutor and Spanish student teacher at the local elementary school.
Notes from the Field - Immokalee is a place where everyone is willing to help each other, which creates this sense of community. This has certainly been proven by all of the organizations I have visited whose main concerns are the farmworkers and their families.
Notes from the Field - Every year, this farm sends its crew leaders and human resources personnel to the training we provide at the University of Florida. During the training, the HR manager extended an invitation to two co-workers and me to tour the facilities. Sure enough, a few weeks later, we were on a truck touring the fields.
Notes from the Field - Packing all of your belongings and moving 1,320 miles to another state sounds daunting, challenging and, at the same time, exciting. These were the feelings I had as I was packing my things, ready to make my move Sept. 10 to the great Sunshine State from Chicago.
Notes from the Field - Translating 150 slides can get monotonous, but in the end, it is necessary for farmworkers to get educated about regulations and handling harassment.