Harvest of Hope

Harvest of Hope

The dirty, dangerous, difficult work of picking grapes in California's central valley remains a life sentence of poverty. (LAT)

The spring harvest of table grapes draws thousands of farm workers to Coachella Valley, CA. Nearly 100 million pounds of grapes are harvested here each year and it is still dirty, dangerous and difficult work.

This is the region where the United Farm Workers’ first table grape contract was signed, but the pay is $8 to $9 an hour, less than it was 40 years ago when adjusted for inflation.

The work begins at dawn and stretches until mid-afternoon, when temperatures can top 120 degrees. Nearly all the workers are Latino migrants who follow the harvest while supporting their families in Mexico.

This audio slideshow by the LA Times visits a camp of migrant laborers and includes interviews with farmworkers and a 20-year-old woman who works alongside her parents, saving money to go to college.

CHANNEL: Los Angeles Times

Length: 3:18

Video by Don Bartletti