TWIN FALLS, Idaho — In the midst of the pandemic, a group of Idahoans created a project called Latinx Farmworkers of Southern Idaho with the hopes to tell their stories.
While these workers are the key to our economy and getting food on our table, their names are unknown and the project is looking to change that.
"You know we are so resilient. Our community is the one who is most affected in Idaho," Alejandra Hernandez, one of the creators of Latinx Farmworkers of Southern Idaho, said. "And yet we see people still having to out to work and pushing through everything. It's just amazing that we get to see that when we go out to the fields and we see them working."
Hernandez was in eighth grade when she started working in the fields with her family. Seeing the importance of these farmworkers personally, she decided to create this project to have others see the importance as well.
"You know these workers do so much for Idaho, and we hardly hear about them. We do hear about the farm families of Idaho and the ranchers, but we don't hear about the workers," Hernandez said.
Hernandez and the five other girls who helped create the project spoke with farmworkers about how the pandemic has directly affected them, being one of the communities hit the hardest.
"There was one worker, and we interviewed him just a couple of weeks after he had to go bury his father, and if I'm not mistaken, his father died from COVID-19," Hernandez said. "He talked about just how hard it was to do that and come back. He just realized that it's time that he lost with his family for being here, and it's a sacrifice that he has to do, unfortunately."
Most of the six people behind the project come from farm-working backgrounds. Some of their parents still work in the fields, which made it easier for them to contact and interview these farmworkers.
"Some people are shy, and there are those who want that attention like they want that appreciation because it is a lot of work that they do. So I like seeing that aspect, just seeing their joy when their work is being recognized," Valeria Guadarrama, creator of the project, said.
With seasonal farmworkers going back home, the project will start to focus on dairy farmworkers moving forward. They say their goal is to keep the project going for as long as possible.
"Like above everything else that's going on, they're still out here doing this work for all of us," Hernandez said.
If you would like to learn more about the project, you can visit their website.