female migrant worker holing "More than a Migrant Worker" T-shirt

María Gonzales, Temporary Foreign Worker from Mexico

My name is María Gonzales and I’ve been coming to Canada from Mexico since 2001. I always had the idea in Mexico to come and look for new opportunities and when I heard about the program, I became really excited to come and try it. It was very difficult at first because 20 years ago, this program wasn’t intended for women – only men. When we were accepted, it was a triumph because only two or three of us were accepted.

I’ve been working at this greenhouse since 2012. I started as a vegetable picker and then I moved to packaging.

For my family and I think for all the families here, they are proud of us because it’s so hard to get into this program. My family is proud that I am here and because I’m here, their lives are more stable in Mexico.

Here, we form another family but the heart always stays in Mexico. The family that I leave behind is big. I think about them every day – my mom, my son, my daughter and everyone. They need me there but they also need my job here.

For fun, I like to do shopping first and then outings. I like going to the lake (Lake Erie).