farm employee poses for camera

Meet Jair, 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.

Hello, my name is Jair, I come to Canada from Mexico, from the city of Guanajuato. This is my third year coming to Canada and my first year on this farm. This is also the first year I have been able to play soccer in Canada.

When I arrived, all my coworkers were excited about a big soccer tournament. Many of us really like soccer. It is a sport that is practiced a lot in Mexico and for me, it is my favorite sport. I did not have the opportunity to go play against other teams in the past places I have worked; this is the first. When we heard about the tournament for farm workers to play against each other, we decided to make a team and go and play and try our best. I scored the only goal for our team and I have to say, it was only goal, but it was the best one!

I enjoyed the tournament. I liked interacting with other cultures and facing off against teams from different countries, being able to socialize and in general everything. I thought it was excellent. Now we play here on the farm when we have free time, and on the weekends sometimes we go to other events and we play soccer there also. I play a lot of soccer at home too. In fact, I believe I could not live without soccer.

Here I am a seasonal worker but if I could tell Canadians something, it would be that we are people just like them. We come to work to earn a salary, to take home to our country, to our families. We do our work with dedication and effort, equally for our employer here or for anyone else. Yes, it is hard work, but we like it and we can even say that we do it with love.

My family is back home; my parents, my sister, my partner and my son. My son is three years old. I miss them and I talk to them every day.