migrant worker holding basket of peaches

Yvonne, Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Jamaica

In processing plant I got the nickname Peaches when I was young –so it was a surprise, when I first came to Canada in 2000, that I found myself working on this peach farm!

I’m from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. There we have the best food, beautiful beaches and good entertainment. When I’m not here, I run a bar there. I’d welcome anyone to come and enjoy the hospitality. I’ve worked on this same farm for the last 21 years. I learned about the Seasonal Agricultural Worker program from my MP and I went to the Ministry of Labour in Kingston to apply.
Back home, I’ve got five children ranging in age from 34 to 14 and now I have grandchildren. My mom and my sister help to look after them when I was away. Now we video chat every day but when I first started coming, that technology wasn’t available and we’d only have one phone call every week, on Fridays.
Last year was hectic and worrying with COVID. We didn’t leave the farm to stay safe. This year is safer. We got our first vaccination when we arrived at the airport. That was good.