Tuesday, December 21, 2010

El Paso farm workers celebrate Christmas

It is handy at Christmas time that the Farm Worker's color is red because there are seasonal tablecloths at hand.

Annually the Sin Fronteras center in El Paso does its best to make the Christmas season a bit brighter for the agricultural day laborers they serve. This year's celebration also combined a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, postponed from December 12 due to illness of a key organizer.

Our Lady of Guadalupe's image carried in procession into the Farm Workers Center.

Devotions were prayer and sung with great care and reverence.

The noon meal featured a hearty posole, and the stew-like soup was so spicy that the ladies teasingly wondered how my gringa tastebuds were doing as I was about 25% through my big bowl. [Answer: Doing fine!]

Posole contained hominy and pork and is topped with raw veggies the individual could add to suit individual taste.

No caption is needed: the food was good and the eating was serious!
Music at high volume is a plus at Latino gatherings, here the speaker system is assembled.

The canned food and nonperishables that were given to El Centro for the Christmas season were divided up into individual "dispensas"--boxes and bags for the holidays. The ag workers earn shockingly little and have families to support, so every item of assistance is worthy.

Women prepare the donations for distribution.
Workers sign in for the party and file in past the festive, lighted tree.

There will be another gift-giving celebration that will include the children of the farm workers' families for  the Feast of the Epiphany in January. After all, the Kings (or Magi) were the ones who got the gift ball rolling, and the Latinos remember them better than others of us who have long -forgotten Christmas by then.

One of the staffer's children--adorable!

I am a helper who works behind the scenes in this project. Often behind a closed door, I don't associate with the farm workers directly much. But I just love to be with them, when I have the chance. Just their demeanor enchants me.

I did a quick tour around the room with my movie cam, with the intent of presenting each of them with a portrait photo. I may delete this soon, but for the moment, you can see their faces, too. [I realize that not everyone was appreciative of this impulsive, unannounced and--in all honesty--intrusive camera action. You'll see that too in the video. That's another reason why it may come down quickly. I believe they will like the photos, though. Their portraits are awesome.]

Only the best for La Virgen de Gualalupe.


Fran said...

These folks looked like they were enjoying a nice holiday get together, but yes you can see in their eyes that *what is this* about look re the camera.
Sure-- so many farm workers have been oppressed & also in the middle of immigration raids & such, of course they are skeptical.

Fran said...

Oh1 I came by to wish you happy holidays & thank you for all the good causes you put your heart & soul into, all year round.

Border Explorer said...

Thanks so much, Fran, for your visit here and your good wishes. I feel really fortunate to have 'met' you here on Blogger for so many reasons.

I am a little ashamed of myself for startling some of the farm workers with my photography; I usually am more careful to ask permission before I "shoot." If anyone reads this and wonders what we're talking about, it is about a movie I removed from this post.

an average patriot said...

Wonderful Billie! I am sure you doo but do you realize we would never hear of this great stuff if it was not for you? Glad everyone had a wonderful and safe time. Lucky you!

okjimm said...

Hey... Just wanna say Fleas NauDiva doo & thank you for being part of the Merica I AM proud of!