Migrant Farmworker Mission Experience
Spend your spring break learning about and working with the migrant workers who come to Immokalee, Florida to harvest the crops.
Time and Date
Spiritan Campus Ministry will be traveling to Florida from February 29th - March 5th (Spring Break)
Immerse Yourself in Another Culture
This cross-cultural experience to Immokalee (which means, My Home) involves many different activities and an immersion into the lives of migrant farm worker families in the agricultural hub of Immokalee Florida. Participants may go into the fields and groves to harvest fruits and vegetables with crew workers and spend time at the homes of "adopted" families.
A Wealth of Activities
Other activities can include: learning about social service agencies, tutoring in daycare centers, helping at the overnight homeless shelters, working at construction sites with Habitat for Humanity, and many other options. Students will listen to the stories of farm workers and organizations that assist them with advocacy in immigration, housing, material assistance, education and health care.
A Week of Reflection, Relaxation, and Prayer
The week also consists of prayer, journaling and reflection each day. There will also be time to relax and go to the beautiful beaches of Fort Myers and Naples.
This past Spring Break Spiritan Campus Ministry led a group of 14 to Immokalee, Fl. Immokalee, where 90% of the United States tomatoes are grown during the winter months has all of the allure of nearby beaches (Naples) and beautiful Florida weather, but instead of being a vacation hotspot it consists of vast farmlands and the hardships of those who work at them.
Our group worked with the community of Immokalee learning about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their plight for fair wages and safe working conditions, and volunteered with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Guadalupe Social Services, and Immokalee Non-Profit Housing. A huge accomplishment for the week was to work with the community to build a raised-bed garden.
Also, the group was lucky to attend a press conference where famous authors, activists, and small farm owners spoke on issues of sustainability practices in the agricultural business and how farmworker rights and wages should be included in its practice (e.g. organic foods).
"The trip to Immokalee, Florida, which is one of the Cross Cultural Mission Experiences (CCMEs) that Duquesne sponsors, is one of the most difficult to understand. With various issues focusing on immigration, farmworker rights, poverty, and safe working conditions, the students experience a wide spectrum of information that is overwhelming and educational. In order to fully understand, students learn about community, dedication, and hard work through working with community social service organizations, exploring the culture through food, and working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Student/Farmworker Alliance. With proper guidance from Kate Lecci, an experienced Campus Minister, the attendees begin to understand a variety of issues in addition to learning about critical thinking, reflecting, and formulating personal opinions. The trip perfectly fulfills the Duquesne University Mission of "Serving God by serving students" through emotional, educational, and spiritual aspects. "
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