This past Thursday evening, my family and I reluctantly said goodbye to three of our seasonal migrant workers before they headed to Toronto Pearson Airport to catch a flight to go home to Mexico. I say reluctantly because as happy as we are for these men that they are able to return home and see and spend time with their friends, families and loved ones, they really are like family to us, and we miss them tremendously throughout the Winter months.
The three workers that recently went home have been working for us on our farm for a long time. Salamone has been with us for 30 years; his son Omar for nine; and his other son Alejandro for six. Salamone has quite literally seen my older sister and I grow up, and he has witnessed the expansion and development of our farm over the years. Now, his two sons come with him, and they, too, have quickly become members of our family, along with their father.
I don’t think the general public necessarily realizes how important seasonal migrant workers are in not only the agricultural realm, but also as people. These workers spend a large portion of the year here with us, therefore we develop bonds and friendships with them. When it comes time for them to go home, it is bittersweet for us as we significantly miss them and their presence once they’re gone.
It is always difficult for my family and I to bid our farewells to our workers, and when I tell people this, they are often surprised. These men are workers, yes, but they’re a hell of a lot more than just help. They are fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, and of course family to us.
To all migrant workers; Gracias por todo lo que haces por nosotros. Te extrañaremos.