male farm employee smiles for camera

Meet Gerardo, Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Mexico

The More than a Migrant Worker program attended the Farms of Norfolk Football Association tournament in 2023 where 12 teams of seasonal workers from local farms competed against each other. We then interviewed some of the players about the games and their work in Canada.

My name is Gerardo, I come from Guanajuato, Mexico. I have worked 14 years on the same farm here in Canada.

Before I came here, my dad was working for many years here, 25 years on this farm. We would work together all the time; it was a great opportunity to work with my dad. My dad goes back and forth to the states with my mom now. He is 75, he is healthy, and he is still working. At home he is the life of the party. My brother has also been coming for two seasons to this farm.

At home we work for a farmer too, we grow corn, sweet potatoes and peanuts. We like working here because we make more money here than in Mexico. At home I have children, one boy and one girl. My girl is 11 and my boy is 13.

It was my first year playing in the tournament, we had a lot of fun. We are good players. The only thing is we are a bit older (and a bit fatter) than the other teams! (laughs).You ask did we practice a lot before the tournament. Let’s say yes. Sometimes we had to work late so we didn’t have time to train all the time. I played central defense; it was very fun to play with my coworkers. I used to play soccer before I came here but not now so this is good. I was as at a picnic for workers on the weekend too. Having those events are good; it helps distract us. It is like we are not always working, we are not just on the farm.

Canadians should know that we come and we work very hard. We work hard for them but also for us, we come here to get ahead in life. There is a lot of people that don’t understand a lot of things and sometimes they criticize us because they don’t understand all our work.