male migrant worker smiles in apple orchard

Livian, Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Jamaica

I’m Livian and I’m from Kingston, Jamaica. This is my 22nd season coming to Canada. One of my friends had been coming to Canada to work. He told me he was going to take a break and asked if I wanted a chance to go. I was doing carpentry work at the time and, at first, to be honest, I said no but Tony kept asking and I finally did the application.

I didn’t hear anything for a long time and finally gave up and went back to doing construction work. Then I got the call to do an interview. And then they called me to come.

Our kids were small at the time. I talked to my wife, Sherene, who encouraged me to give it a try and here I am after 22 years.  She is an amazing woman. She absolutely supported me so I put all my effort in because I didn’t want to let them down. She is the backbone of our family. I talk to her every day.

Leaving them that first year was so hard. I didn’t know where I was going or what the job would be all about. But I was told that if I could work, this was a good place for me. I had a plan, stuck to it and it worked.

This program helped us put all four of our sons through school. If I were back home, I could never have done that. The oldest is an engineer in welding. The second one teaches in the army. The third is teaching English in Japan. The last is doing journalism at college. I’m very proud of them.

I’m just so comfortable here now. I never believed I’d be so comfortable in this job and in Canada. My bosses are like my dad and my mom. We’re all just like a family here.