I was a part of the NC Farmworker Health Program, located in Burgaw, NC. This program provides access to medical and dental care for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The team goes to the campsites and enrolls them into the program, and they then have access to the care needed (medical, dental or mental health) and prescription cards all at an extremely discounted price. Also transportation to and from (if needed), translation/interpretation during the appointments and education on health and well-being is provided as well. My experience was very enlightening and changed my concept of farmworkers. I enjoyed working with the team and could really tell that what they do is not only needed but appreciated by the farmworker community.
I chose this program because it provided the most exposure to the aspects of migrant Latino culture, including: language and living and working conditions. I hoped to gain a better understanding of their lifestyles while improving my speaking and comprehension abilities.
I gained much more than I could have expected. The first-hand experiences of seeing how they live and work was very emotional for me because I couldn't imagine it being better than what they had in their home country. To see such poverty and yet the majority of the people were so grateful to be here and have the opportunity to provide for their family, it really impacted me. They have a work ethic like no other and place family above everything else. My compassion for the farmworkers has grown tremendously!
This experience has given me a greater understanding of the farmworker community as well as compassion towards them. My desire was to improve my speaking and comprehension abilities and while they have improved, they are the least of what I learned. I seek to be part of a team that is passionate about helping the Latino community improve their lives and I believe that my experience with this program can benefit any future employer.