“Families across the United States gather around dinner tables to feast on the fruits provided by thousands of hardworking immigrants whom they will never meet, and probably never come to know. These farm workers, whose aspirations in life are not unlike those of many Americans, migrate from place to place, taking great care and pride in what they do. They are the campesinos - the farm laborers - of the California Central Valley…”

Man working in an orchard

A farmworker named Cesar, who did not wish his last name used, carries a pole in an almond orchard near Wasco, California.

man walking in an orchard

Workers use the poles to jab at branches to loosen almonds. Cesar said, “It looks easy, but it’s hard work. My shoulder always hurts after work.”

farmworker in a field

Two men work at a cotton field near Five Points, California. Harvesting cotton once required an abundance of labor, but now relies on less than a dozen workers per field.

woman carrying a bucket

A woman, who did not wish to give her name, carries a bucket of squash near Fresno, California.

two figures in front of a building

A girl and her younger brother sit outside a camp in Huron, California. Housing like this becomes crowded during lettuce season, when migrants flood the town looking for work.

children with empty boxes

Three children play with lettuce boxes near a recycling collection center in Huron, California. The population of the town of 6,000 more than doubles during lettuce season, when migrant workers come looking for work.

woman preparing to harvest lettuce

A group of women prepare for the lettuce harvest near Huron, California.

farmworkers harvesting lettuce

Lettuce workers, known as the “lechugadores,” harvest lettuce in a field near Huron, California. Every year around October, workers migrate from the Salinas area to work in the fields.

farmworker tossing a melon onto a vehicle

A man tosses a cantaloupe onto a packing vehicle in Firebaugh, California on September 29, 2006.

woman picking squash

A woman picks squash in a field near Fresno, California on September 29, 2006. Farm labor is one of the few options available to many migrant and immigrant workers, who often speak little or no English.

man with hat

A man waits in a field near Fresno, California on September 29, 2006. For many field workers retirement is not an option and many times they will have to work until they are physically unable.