farm worker smiles for camera

Meet Esteban, Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Mexico

My name is Esteban Pérez García and I come from Mexico, from the State of Tlaxcala. I have been working in Canada at the same farm for six seasons. Each season I come over here for eight months. I arrive in January and start to pack onions and potatoes. Later in the year we prepare the seed to plant the potatoes, then we will plant onions, do weeding in the onion fields and right now we are harvesting cilantro and dill.

Maybe four or five years ago I started having problems with my eyes… my sight, all of the sudden. I found out I have Retinitis Pigmentosa. I asked the farmer I work for. We spoke and he took me to the eye doctor. They supported me and I had my surgery for my right eye done in Canada; they put an intraocular lens in my eye. My boss actually drove me to my surgery and now I have a doctor in Mexico that I go to for a checkup every time I am home too.

Of course it took some time, the system can be something tedious but not impossible, we get good health care. If something happens to me, I can ask for help. The farmers help if they can help and that’s great and if they can’t, then they can’t. I hope to keep working for as long as the farmers keep asking for me to come back.

Back home I have a daughter that is 19 and is studying at university. She is currently studying agricultural engineering. I also have a 14-year-old son who is about to enter high school and a 12-year-old son who is about to enter junior high school. When I am home in Mexico, I go out with my children, we go to watch soccer games. Sometimes we stay in the house or we go out to visit family, when there is time.