Meet the faces behind the Ontario produce on your plate! Each year thousands of migrant farm workers make their way to Ontario to work on fruit and vegetable farms around the province. While for many of them this experience is relatively new, some workers have been returning to Ontario farms for over 20 years! From trumpet players to carpenters, they all have a unique story to share. Click the profiles below to learn more about the women and men who play such an important role on our farms.
My name is Efrain Romero Tellez. I am thirty-six years old. I am originally from the state of Michoacán de Jacona. I have been coming to Canada for six years. For two of those six years, I have worked here on this farm. I am married, I have my wife, three children... a fourteen-year-old girl, another girl that is five years old and a three-year-old boy.
I am Filliberto Magin Alvarado, from the state of Veracruz. I have been coming to Canada for 16 seasons already and I have been on this farm for 11 seasons. My son now comes with me for four years now. The boss has given me the opportunity to bring my son here to work.
My name is Juan Antonio Linares Hernández and I am from Veracruz, Mexico. I’ve been coming to Canada for 13 years. Working here provides me with a better future for me and my family. My wife and I have a son and a daughter. My daughter is fourteen and my young man – my boy - is three. I talk to them every day after work.
My name is Luiz Rodriguez. I come from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. I have been coming to Canada for 22 years, 14 on this market garden farm. My first reason to come to Canada is to give my family - my wife and children - a better life. The sacrifices that each of us have had to make are difficult.
I’m Efreen Sanchez. I come from Mexico in Xcalak. I’ve been coming to work in Canada for 21 years – always on this farm. Here, my work is planting; sometimes driving tractors and trucks. I’ll do any of the work, any of the time. By coming here, I’m giving my family a better way to live.
My name is Ángel García and I am from the state of Morelos, Mexico. I have been coming to Canada every year for twenty-five years. I have been in this farm since 2003 – so more or less twenty years on this farm. My job is, right now, to plant all the vegetables, legumes, fruits, strawberries, raspberries, everything that gets harvested in June.
My name is Daniel and I am from Tlaxcala, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. I have been coming here for more than 20 years; more than 10 seasons on this farm. Sometimes I pick or I plant tomato, strawberry, cucumber, lettuce, potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, melons and watermelons.
My name is David López Parra and I come from the state of Puebla in Mexico. I’ve been coming to Canada for four years – always working on this farm. Here, I pick strawberries and also plant all types of melons, watermelons and other vegetables that are harvested here. My family are doing very well and because of this, our lives have improved a lot.
My name is Filimon Barron. I come from near Mexico City and I’ve been coming here for close to 20 years – 15 years on this farm. The economy in Mexico is very bad. For this reason, I am coming here. I come in April – sometimes the first week and sometimes the last. I go home in November.
Coming to Canada to work within the program meant for me the realization of many dreams that I saw would be very difficult in Mexico. Like building my house – which is now finished. I have two children in college which also generates heavy expenses in Mexico. It is a great financial piece of mind.
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.
My name is Fernando. I come from Mexico and I am part of the SAWP program, which is the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. I have been part of this program since 2015 so this is my sixth year here in Canada and my fourth at this greenhouse. My role here in this greenhouse is to do plant care work, packaging and more!