EARLY MORNING GRAPES, Porterville
Guillermina Sanchez is a grape worker and member of Lideres Campesinas, a statewide grassroots organization of farm working women who specialize in doing outreach to their respective communities on issues of importance to the farm worker communities, including pesticide danger, domestic abuse and HIV. She arrives at the vineyards in the dark and begins work as the moon sets. In her free time, she organizes outreach and pesticide trainings aimed at educating other farm worker women. One recent survey revealed 60% of the farm workers surveyed reported they were required to “test the fruit” by eating unwashed grapes during the harvest to find out if they were sweet enough to be picked. This practice is not regulated under California pesticide law.