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National Farmworkers’ Organization stops in Coachella Valley, focusing on women’s needs amid pandemic

A national agricultural farmworkers organization is traveling the country checking in on women who work in the fields. The organization, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, is working hard to educate women who work in fields across the country, not only about programs available to them during the pandemic but also about their rights in the workplace.

Anna Obregón and Elvira Carvajal, two representatives from Alianza, made a stop in the Coachella Valley this week to have face-to-face conversations with women working in the agricultural industry.

"Without them, we wouldn't have food on our tables," Obregón said.  

The group focusing on specific pandemic-related challenges. 

"During the pandemic, we saw a lot of problems. For example, women were the last ones to receive protections. A lot of them weren't wearing face masks or social distancing," Carvajal said. 

The group is educating women about their rights when it comes to their health, financial assistance they might qualify for, and how to report abuse either at home or in the workplace.  

"Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been more issues relating to family violence, domestic violence, sexual assault," Obregón said.

Obregón and Carvajal also took time to answer questions about everything from COVID-19 vaccines to childcare options.

"There's a lot of people who are misinformed," said Mily-Treviño Sauceda, executive director for Alianza.

Sauceda, a Coachella Valley native, says this has been one of the hardest decisions for working women nationwide. 

"It was about women deciding to go to work and leave their children or take their children to work," Sauceda said. 

She says their alliance has visited women in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and they're headed to Oregon next. And while there's much work to be done, she says they're up for the challenge.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.

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