Advertisement

Introduction to the symposium: Bienestar—the well-being of Latinx farmworkers in a time of change

  • Lisa MeierottoEmail author
  • Teresa Mares
  • Seth M. Holmes
Symposium/Special Issue

Abstract

This symposium explores the well-being of Latinx farmworkers living and laboring in the United States. Our primary aim is to take a deeper look at the lived experiences of farmworkers. In the introduction, we explore the various ways in which well-being is framed in diverse academic disciplines, and how the concept of well-being has been employed in previous research on Latinx farmworkers. We argue that ethnographic methods have potential to represent farmworker experiences in a more nuanced manner than many other social science approaches. We advocate further research and action in terms of farmworker safety, health (including mental health and access to care), food security and food provisioning, rural isolation and access to housing, poverty and job security. Finally, we argue that farmworkers should be considered active and important actors in the context of global environmental change. Ultimately, the well-being of farmworkers is co-dependent on global environmental health and sustainability.

Keywords

Latinx Farmworkers Well-being Sustainability 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Christopher Torres at Boise State University for research assistance.

References

  1. Allen, Patricia L., and Carolyn E. Sachs. 1991. The Social Side of Sustainability: Class, Gender and Race. Science as Culture 2 (4): 569–590.Google Scholar
  2. Altieri, Miguel. 1995. Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture, 2nd ed. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  3. Arcury, Thomas A., Maria Weir, Haiyin Chen, Phillip Summers, Lori E. Pelletier, Leonardo Galván, Werner E. Bischoff, Maria C. Mirabelli, and Sara A. Quandt. 2012. Migrant farmworker housing regulation violations in North Carolina. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 55 (3): 191–204.Google Scholar
  4. Arcury, Thomas A., Illene J. Jacobs, and Virginia Ruiz. 2015. Farmworker housing quality and health. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 25 (3): 256–262.Google Scholar
  5. Anthony, M.J., E.G. Martin, A.M. Avery, and J.M. Williams. 2010. Self Care and Health-Seeking Behavior of Migrant Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 12 (5): 634–639.Google Scholar
  6. Bacio, G., A. Moore, M. Karno, and L. Ray. 2014. Determinants of Problem Drinking and Depression among Latino Day Laborers. Substance Use and Misuse 49 (8): 1039–1048.Google Scholar
  7. Baker, D., and D. Chappelle. 2012. Health Status and Needs of Latino Dairy Farmworkers in Vermont. Journal of Agromedicine 17 (3): 277–287.Google Scholar
  8. Bellinger, Nisha. 2018. Governing Human Well-Being: Domestic and International Determinants. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  9. Borre, Kristen, Luke Ertle, and Mariaelisa Graff. 2010. Working to Eat: Vulnerability, Food Insecurity, and Obesity among Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Families. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 53 (4): 443–462.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.20836.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, Sandy, and Christy Getz. 2011. Farmworker Food Insecurity and the Production of Hunger in California. In Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability, ed. Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman, 121–146. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Carney, Megan. 2015. The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. Carvajal, S.C., C. Kibor, D.J. McClelland, M. Ingram, J.G. de Zapien, E. Torres, F. Redondo, K. Rodriguez, R. Rubio-Goldsmith, J. Meister, and C. Rosales. 2014. Stress and Sociocultural Factors Related to Health Status Among US–Mexico Border Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 16 (6): 1176–1182.Google Scholar
  13. Cason, Katherine, Sergio Nieto-Montenegro, and America Chavez-Martinez. 2006. Food Choices, Food Sufficiency Practices, and Nutrition Education Needs of Hispanic Migrant Workers in Pennsylvania. Topics in Clinical Nutrition 21 (2): 145–158.Google Scholar
  14. Castañeda, H., S.M. Holmes, D.S. Madrigal, M.-E.D. Young, N. Beyeler, and J. Quesada. 2015. Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health. Annual Review of Public Health 36 (1): 375–392.Google Scholar
  15. Cavazos-Rehg, P.A., L.H. Zayas, and E.L. Spitznagel. 2007. Legal Status, Emotional Well-Being and Subjective Health Status of Latino Immigrants. Journal of the National Medical Association 99 (10): 1126–1131.Google Scholar
  16. Cervantes, J.M., O.L. Mejía, and A. Guerrero Mena. 2010. Serial Migration and the Assessment of Extreme and Unusual Psychological Hardship With Undocumented Latina/o Families. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 32 (2): 275–291.Google Scholar
  17. Coleman-Jenson, A., M. P. Rabbitt, C. A. Gregory, and A. Singh. 2018. Household Food Security in the United States in 2017. USDA Economic Research Report N 256.Google Scholar
  18. Crain, Rebecca, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Melody Schwantes, Scoot Isom, Sarah Quandt, and Thomas A. Arcury. 2012. Correlates of mental health among Latino farmworkers in North Carolina. The Journal of Rural Health 28: 277–285.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-0361.2011.00401.x.Google Scholar
  19. Cuellar, I., E. Bastida, and S.M. Braccio. 2004. Residency in the United States, Subjective Well-Being, and Depression in an Older Mexican-Origin Sample. Journal of Aging and Health 16 (4): 447–466.Google Scholar
  20. Diener, E., and M.Y. Chan. 2011. Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being 3 (1): 1–43.Google Scholar
  21. Diener, E., S. Oishi, and R.E. Lucas. 2003. Personality, Culture, and Subjective Well-Being: Emotional and Cognitive Evaluations of Life. Annual Review of Psychology 54 (1): 403–425.Google Scholar
  22. Dodge, Rachel, Annette P. Daly, Jan Huyton, and Lalage Sanders. 2012. The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing 2 (3): 222–235.Google Scholar
  23. Duke, M.R., and C.B. Cunradi. 2011. Measuring intimate partner violence among male and female farmworkers in San Diego County, CA. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 17 (1): 59–67.Google Scholar
  24. Easterlin, R.A., L. Angelescu, and J.S. Zweig. 2011. The Impact of Modern Economic Growth on Urban-Rural Differences in Subjective Well-Being. World Development. 39 (12): 2187–2198.Google Scholar
  25. Essa, Jumanah. 2001. Nutrition, Health, and Food Security Practices, Concerns, and Perceived Barriers of Latino Farm/Industry Workers in Virginia. PhD dissertation, Virginia Tech.Google Scholar
  26. Food Chain Workers Alliance. 2012. The Hands That Feed Us. Food Chain Workers. http://www.Foodchainworkers.org.
  27. Garibaldi, Lucas, Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Raffaele D’Annolfo, Benjamin E. Graeub, Saul A. Cunningham, and Tom D. Breeze. 2017. Farming Approaches for Greater Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Food Security. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 32 (1): 68–80.Google Scholar
  28. Grzywacz, J.G., H.J. Lipscomb, V. Casanova, B. Neis, C. Fraser, P. Monaghan, and Q.M. Vallejos. 2013. Organization of Work in the Agricultural, Forestry, and Fishing Sector in the US Southeast: Implications for Immigrant Workers’ Occupational Safety and Health. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 56 (8): 925–939.Google Scholar
  29. Hamilton, E., and Jo Mhairi Hale. 2016. Changes in the Transnational Family Structures of Mexican Farmworkers in the Era of Border Militarization. Demography 53: 1429–1451.Google Scholar
  30. Herbst, R.B., and R.M. Gonzalez-Guarda. 2018. Exploring Perspectives of Well-Being in Latina/o Migrant Workers. Counselling Psychology Quarterly 31 (2): 137–161.Google Scholar
  31. Hertz, Thomas. 2014. USDA ERS—Farm Labor. Last. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-labor/ (accessed February 5, 2019).
  32. Hiott, Ann E., Joseph G. Grzywacz, Stephen W. Davis, Sara A. Quandt, and Thomas A. Arcury. 2018. Migrant farmworker stress: mental health implications. The Journal of Rural Health 24 (1): 32–39.Google Scholar
  33. Holmes, S.M. 2007. Oaxacans Like to Work Bent Over: The Naturalization of Social Suffering among Berry Farmworkers. International Migration 45 (3): 39–68.Google Scholar
  34. Holmes, S.M. 2011. Structural Vulnerability and Hierarchies of Ethnicity and Citizenship on the Farm. Medical Anthropology 30 (4): 425–449.Google Scholar
  35. Horton, S., and A. Stewart. 2012. Reasons for Self-Medication and Perceptions of Risk Among Mexican Migrant Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 56 (8): 925–939.Google Scholar
  36. Jones, Andrew, and Gebisa Ejetab. 2015. New Global Agenda for Nutrition and Health: The Importance of Agriculture and Food Systems. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/94/3/15-164509.pdf (accessed January 31, 2018).
  37. Kandel, William. 2008. Profile of Hired Farmworkers, a 2008 Update. Cornell University ILR School. https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1564&context=key_workplac (Accessed February 1, 2019.
  38. Kilanowski, Jill F., and Laura C. Moore. 2010. Food Security and Dietary Intake in Midwest Migrant Farmworker Children. Journal of Pediatric Nursing 25 (5): 360–366.Google Scholar
  39. Klocker, Natascha, Lesley Head, Olivia Dun, and Tess Spaven. 2017. Experimenting with Agricultural Diversity: Migrant Knowledge as a Resource for Climate change Adaptation. Journal of Rural Studies 57: 13–24.Google Scholar
  40. Kresge, Lisa, and Chelsea Eastman. 2010. Increasing Food Security among Agricultural Workers in California’s Salinas Valley. Davis, CA: California Institute for Rural Studies.Google Scholar
  41. Lastarria-Cornhiel, Susana. 2006. Feminization of Agriculture: Trends and Driving Forces. Paper prepared for the World Development Report 2008. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved on February 2, 2017 from https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/68838/4589_Lastarria_Cornhiel2006_Feminization_of_A.pdf?sequence=1.
  42. Letiecq, B.L., J.G. Grzywacz, K.M. Gray, and Y.M. Eudave. 2014. Depression Among Mexican Men on the Migration Frontier: The Role of Family Separation and Other Structural and Situational Stressors. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 16 (6): 1193–1200.Google Scholar
  43. López-Cevallos, D.F., J. Lee, and W. Donlan. 2014. Fear of Deportation is not Associated with Medical or Dental Care Use Among Mexican-Origin Farmworkers Served by a Federally-Qualified Health Center—Faith-Based Partnership: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 16 (4): 706–711.Google Scholar
  44. Maldonado, Adriana. 2016. The Role of Sociocultural Factors on Mental Health Service Utilization in Women of Mexican American Farmworker Families.Google Scholar
  45. Magana, C.G., and J.D. Hovey. 2003. Psychosocial Stressors Associated with Mexican Migrant Farmworkers in the Midwest United States. Journal of Immigrant Health 5 (2): 75–86.Google Scholar
  46. Mares, Teresa. 2019. Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  47. Meierotto, Lisa, and Rebecca Som Castellano. 2019. A case study of transitions in farming and farm labor in Southwestern Idaho. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 8 (4): 111–123.  https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.084.008.Google Scholar
  48. Minkoff-Zern, Laura-Anne. 2014. Knowing “Good Food”: Immigrant Knowledge and the Racial Politics of Farmworker Food Insecurity. Antipode 46 (5): 1190–1204.Google Scholar
  49. Montgomery, David R. 2007. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Berkely and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  50. Moos, Katherine. 2008. Documenting Vulnerability: Food Insecurity among Indigenous Mexican Migrants in California’s Central Valley. Washington, DC: Congressional Hunger Center.Google Scholar
  51. National Agriculture Workers Survey. 2010. The National Agriculture Workers Survey. Chapter 3: Income and Poverty. https://www.doleta.gov/agworker/report/ch3.cfm (accessed February 1, 2019).
  52. Negi, Junko, L. Michalopoulos, J. Boyas, and A. Overdorff. 2013. Social Networks That Promote Well-Being Among Latino Migrant Day Laborers. Advances in Social Work 14 (1): 247–259.Google Scholar
  53. Nicolopoulou-Stamati, P., S. Maipas, C. Kotampasi, P. Stamatis, and L. Hens. 2016. Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture. Frontiers in Public Health 4: 148.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148.Google Scholar
  54. Padilla, Y.C., J.L. Scott, and O. Lopez. 2014. Economic Insecurity and Access to the Social Safety Net among Latino Farmworker Families. Social Work 59 (2): 157–165.Google Scholar
  55. Pérez-Escamilla, R., J. Garcia, and D. Song. 2010. “Health Care Access Among Hispanic Immigrants: ¿Alguien Está Escuchando?[is Anybody Listening?]. NAPA Bulletin 34 (1): 47–67.Google Scholar
  56. Pollard, E., and P. Lee. 2003. Child Well-Being: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Social Indicators Research 61 (1): 9–78.Google Scholar
  57. Quandt, Sara A., Thomas A. Arcury, Julie Early, Janeth Tapia, and Jessie D. Davis. 2004. Household Food Security among Migrant and Seasonal Latino Farmworkers in North Carolina. Public Health Reports 119 (6): 568–576.Google Scholar
  58. Quesada, J., L.K. Hart, and P. Bourgois. 2011. Structural Vulnerability and Health: Latino Migrant Laborers in the United States. Medical Anthropology 30 (4): 339–362.Google Scholar
  59. Ramos, A., G. Carlo, K. Grant, N. Trinidad, A. Correa, and A.K. Ramos. 2016. Stress, Depression, and Occupational Injury among Migrant Farmworkers in Nebraska. Safety 2 (4): 23.Google Scholar
  60. Ramos, A.K., D. Su, L. Lander, and R. Rivera. 2015. Stress Factors Contributing to Depression Among Latino Migrant Farmworkers in Nebraska. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 17 (6): 1627–1634.Google Scholar
  61. Richardson, Henry, and Erik Schokaert. 2017. “How do we measure well-being?” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/how-do-we-measure-well-being-70967 (accessed February 1, 2019).
  62. Robinson, E., H.T. Nguyen, S. Isom, S.A. Quandt, J.G. Grzywacz, H. Chen, and T.A. Arcury. 2011. Wages, Wage Violations, and Pesticide Safety Experienced by Migrant Farmworkers in North Carolina. NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 21 (2): 251–268.Google Scholar
  63. Rogers, Deborah S., et al. 2012. A vision for human well-being: transition to social sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4 (1): 61–73.Google Scholar
  64. Sano, Yoshie, Steven Garasky, Kimberly A. Greder, Christine C. Cook, and Dawn E. Browder. 2011. Understanding Food Insecurity among Latino Immigrant Families in Rural America. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 32 (1): 111–123.Google Scholar
  65. Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, P., J.I. House, M. Bustamante, J. Sobocká, R. Harper, G. Pan, P.C. West, J.M. Clark, T. Adhya, C. Rumpel, K. Paustian, P. Kuikman, M.F. Cotrufo, J.A. Elliott, R. McDowell, R.I. Griffiths, S. Asakawa, A. Bondeau, A.K. Jain, J. Meersmans, and T.A. Pugh. 2016. Global change pressures on soils from land use and management. Global Change Biology 22: 1008–1028.  https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13068.Google Scholar
  67. Southern Poverty Law Center. 2010. Injustice on Our Plates: Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry. https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/d6_legacy_files/downloads/publication/Injustice_on_Our_Plates.pdf (accessed February 1, 2019).
  68. U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA. 2013. OSHA National News Release. https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/09162013-0. (accessed March 31, 2019).
  69. U.S. Department of Labor. 2016. Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey 2013–2014. https://www.doleta.gov/naws/pages/research/docs/NAWS_Research_Report_12.pdf (accessed March 31, 2019).
  70. U.S. Department of Labor, Economic Research Service. 2019a. Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/ag-and-food-sectors-and-the-economy/ (accessed March 31, 2019).
  71. U.S. Department of Labor, Economic Research Service. 2019b. Farm Labor. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-labor/ (accessed March 31, 2019).
  72. Vallejos, Q.M., S.A. Quandt, J.G. Grzywacz, S. Isom, H. Chen, L. Galván, L. Whalley, A.B. Chatterjee, and T.A. Arcury. 2011. Migrant farmworkers’ housing conditions across an agricultural season in North Carolina. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 54 (7): 533–544.Google Scholar
  73. Vazquez, Edith Y. Gutierrez, Chenoa A. Flippen, and Emilio A. Parrado. 2017. Feeling depressed in a foreign country: Mental Health status of Mexican Migrants in Durham, NC. Anais 1–22.Google Scholar
  74. Villarejo, Don, David Lighthall, I.I.I. Daniel Williams, Ann Souter, Richard Mines, Bonnie Bade, Steve Samuels, and Stephen A. McCurdy. 2000. Suffering in Silence: A Report on the Health of California’s Agricultural Workers. Davis, CA: California Institute for Rural Studies.Google Scholar
  75. Wall, Diana, Uffe N. Nielson, and Johan Six. 2015. Soil biodiversity and Human Health. Research Perspective in Nature. 528: 69.Google Scholar
  76. Weigel, M.Margaret, Rodrigo X. Armijos, Yolanda Posada Hall, Yolanda Ramirez, and Rubi Orozco. 2007. The Household Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes of US–Mexico Border Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 9 (3): 157–169.Google Scholar
  77. Winkelman, S., E. Chaney, and J. Bethel. 2013. Stress, Depression and Coping among Latino Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 10: 1815–1830.Google Scholar
  78. Wirth, Cathy, Ron Strochlic, and Christy Getz. 2007. Hunger in the Fields: Food Insecurity among Farmworkers in Fresno County. Davis: California Institute for Rural Studies.Google Scholar
  79. Zapata Roblyer, Martha I., Joseph G. Grzywacz, Cynthia K. Suerken, Grisel Trejo, Edward H. Ip, Thomas A. Arcury, and Sara A. Quandt. 2016. Interpersonal and Social Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among Latinas in Farmworker Families Living in North Carolina. Women and Health 56 (2): 177–193.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public ServiceBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Society and Environment (UC Berkeley), Joint Program in Medical Anthropology (UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco)Alameda County Medical CenterBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations