Jaime Machado supervises lettuce pickers in a field just outside of Yuma. Farming in this area relies heavily on migrant farm workers from Mexico to plant and harvest its semi-annual crops. To insure sanitary purity, all workers must wear rubber gloves, hair and mustache nets.
Farm workers are advised to wash the clothes they wear in the fields separately from the rest of the family’s wash to avoid contamination by pesticides.
Migrant farm workers from Mexico pick, de-core and pack lettuce in Yuma.
A migrant farm worker, who asked not to be identified, cuts and prepares heads of lettuce, taking just a few seconds for each head. He repeats this process for about eight hours every day during picking season.
A migrant farmer kids with co-workers as he loads a truck with freshly picked lettuce.
This family of five live in San Luis, Ariz., in a neighborhood located just a few hundred yards from the U.S-Mexico border. Sandra Cerda, 41, a single mother of Josue Cerda, 16, and Erick Torres, 3, shares a two-bedroom trailer with her mother, Eloisa Lara, 65, and her son, Jose Andres, 45, who has epilepsy. During the winter season, Sandra harvests lettuce. The family relies for an entire year on the income she earns during harvest season, along with unemployment benefits.
Eloisa Lara, 65, (left) had her right leg amputated due to complications from diabetes. Sandra Cerda, 41, cuts some cucumbers for her son, Erick Torres, 3, and his cousins, Kayla Ramirez, 5, and Issac Ramirez, 7.
Vegetables and fruit have become a more regular part of migrant workers’ diets after they received advice from “Farmers Without Borders,” a local non-profit organization that educates the community on how to live healthier lives and prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Jose Andres, 45, known as “Pepe,” sits in his favorite chair by the door to watch the sunset. Andres has epilepsy and cannot be left alone.
Jose Andres, 45, or “Pepe” as his family calls him, sits in his favorite chair. Andres is mentally challenged and has lived at home since birth.
Erick Torres, 3, entertains himself by writing on his chair despite the protests of his grandmother.
Erick Torres, 3, plays with his cousins under the watchful eyes of his mother and grandmother. At sunset this small border community is filled with the sound of children playing on the streets.
This border floodlight can be seen from the family trailer in San Luis, Ariz. Once night falls, residents can hear the constant humming that comes from the floodlight's generator.
Humane Borders is a faith-based humanitarian organization with more than 1,500 volunteers who work to prevent deaths of illegal migrants crossing the border through the desert. Their strategy includes the placement and maintenance of water stations along known corridors used by migrants. They also place warning posters and maps in key locations explaining the high risk of crossing the desert into the United States.
Charles Ambrose, 55, a volunteer driver for Humane Borders, fixes the flagpole for a water station that was damaged in a storm.
Charles Ambrose, 55, looks around for trash as volunteer Gabriel Munoz refills one of Humane Border’s water stations near the border in Tucson, Ariz.
This piece of pipe is used to check the water level of a Humane Borders’ station in the dessert. Volunteers for the humanitarian organization add chlorine to the water during the summer months to help prevent water contamination.
Charles Ambrose, 55, straightens a flagpole that was damaged by strong winds.
Humane Borders’ volunteer driver Tom Christian watches for migrants in distress in the border area near Tucson, Ariz. Volunteers are allowed to give migrants water, food and first aid. They also call border patrol agents if a migrant wants to abandon his or her trek.