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Our Visit to Fellsmere

On October the third, Orlando YAYA members embarked on a 2 day immersion trip to Fellsmere, Florida, where we would lodge at the local Farm worker Association of Florida (FWAF) office to learn how their community is organized, how we can help them out, how they can help us out, and ultimately, as a way to come closer together in the struggle for farm worker justice.

One of the best things that I learned during this immersion trip (besides new awesome games to play with buddies that Katie taught us) was how great of an organizer, Yolanda, the local organizer for FWAF was. She motivated people to come to meetings by giving them fun jobs, like bringing food, drinks, etc. It was also great seeing different generations of families involved in the association as well. There was a huge sense of community there that I wish we had more of over in Orlando. Sadly, this is hard to pull off with a city that’s many, many times larger than Fellsmere.

Now, what does an immersion trip consist of? Well, it consists of going to a farm worker community, meeting the local organizers and community members, and trying to learn anything we can from them. It also consists of having trainings in how to organize ourselves, maintain our contact list, write reports (like the one I’m doing now), talk to the media, plan for events, rallies, etc. more effectively. I have personally learned tons of useful things that I have already seen myself using, not only for the benefit of YAYA, but during my daily life!

Overall, immersion trips are very important to YAYA, we take pride in them, since we have lots of fun learning how to organize ourselves better. Clearly, they translate over to being great for the Farm worker struggle in general since we, YAYA, will be able to use the resources around us more effectively in order to accomplish our goals.

We are happy to have met the farm workers from Fellsmere and we are looking forward to spending some time with them gardening and also at a bicycle delivery for the children in December!

-Juan Barredo
Orlando YAYA

(Photos courtesy of Juan Barredo)

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