The story of farmworkers in Silicon Valley is a tale of sacrifice, inequity, and struggle. These farmworkers live in the shadow of mainstream America as the public doesn’t recognize their efforts to put fresh produce on tables nationwide. One of the most prominent of these struggles is a lack of access to resources. Thankfully, there is a tremendous effort to address social and economic inequity for Campesinos in Silicon Valley.
Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) is a Half Moon Bay-based nonprofit directed by Dr. Belinda Arriaga. It started in 2011 as a way of connecting local Latino youth to their culture via art and music. Since then, it has expanded tremendously and is working to provide farm workers aid. Dr. Arriaga is proud to announce the ALAS Equity Express Bus launch - a heartfelt project that ensures that farmworkers receive services such as education, counseling, and healthcare.
The double-decker ALAS Equity Bus is instantly recognizable by its welcoming yellow exterior complemented by a colorful Otomi pattern - a design brought to life by Antonio Rivera, Tim Gatto, and Raquel Gatto. It is furnished with state-of-the-art amenities such as a mobile wifi hotspot, tv screens, and virtual meeting rooms. This bus is equipped with spaces where farmworkers can hold conferences and even meet with in-person physicians. The ALAS Equity Bus is planned to start operation as soon as next summer. Initially, it will visit 1 farm per day across a 3-5 day period. Dr. Arriaga has high hopes for this bus, as she plans to have it run during weekends as time goes on.
“We are really excited and appreciate the efforts of those who helped us bring this bus to fruition. We believe that this bus will help change the way farm workers receive aid.”, Dr. Arriaga stated when asked about expectations about the project, “We know that this bus has the capacity to change the lives of farm workers. We hope that this project helps serve as a model for other communities in terms of farm worker outreach.”
The ALAS Equity Bus ensures that agricultural workers have the resources necessary to address the social and medical inequality gap evident within this demographic. Indeed, this bus will ensure that many local farms receive the care that they deserve. This project symbolizes a vivid benchmark that shows just how far ALAS and the efforts to aid the farmworker community have come in recent years. It is a monumental ode to farmworkers and Latino culture everywhere.
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