From Milpa to Mesa highlights the process of transforming heirloom corn from tiny farms across Mexico into tortillas.
Helpful glossary from video creators The Perennial Plate:
Long live the farmworkers!
My late father, Salomón Chavez Huerta, first arrived in this country as an agricultural guest worker in the mid-1900s, during the Bracero Program. The Bracero Program represented a guest worker program between the United States and Mexico. From 1942 to 1964, the Mexican government exported an estimated 4.6 million Mexicans to meet this country’s labor shortage not only in the agricultural fields during two major wars (WWII and Korean War), but also in the railroad and mining sectors.
Like many braceros of his generation from rural Mexico, my father didn’t speak too much about the horrible working / housing conditions he endured while toiling in el norte. This included low pay, overcrowded housing, terrible food, limited legal rights, lack of freedom outside of the labor camps, racism, verbal / physical abuse and price gauging from company landlords / stores.
It’s hard work, but somebody’s got to do it. Califas balladeers Sal and Isela tell the story of a farmworker in Sudor (Sweat).
Mira los lyrics:
A pre-teen migrant farmworker attempts to rebel against the status quo with unintended consequences for herself and her family. Both a coming-of-age story and a window into the world of child migrant farmworkers in the U.S., To the Bone is an intimate film about one family that represents the struggles of so many. Starring Naomie Feliu, Jaime Alvarez, Carlos C. Torres, Maria Elena Laas, Eliezer Ortiz. Directed by Erin Li.
The chickens like this guy because he’s telling them (singing in Portuguese, of course) that the lion sleeps tonight, and it’s safe to come out and party. Hell, we don’t speak Portuguese. Maybe he’s singing in Chickenese. Wimoweh, baby — tastes like chicken.
- PREVIOUSLY IN WHISPERERS:
Don’t worry, gringos, Mexican nationals won’t steal your job since all these “nationals” do is “stoop labor.” Also, explains the friendly Mexican Consul, they are “braceros” and not “wetbacks.”
The 19-minute film Why Braceros? was produced around 1959 on behalf of the Council of California Growers.
It aims to tell viewers about “the benefits of the bracero program,” The Field Guide to Sponsored Films explains, “originally initiated by the United States in 1942 to alleviate the World War II labor shortage.” This was a “guest worker” program that made it okay for Mexican labor to be brought in seasonally to work on cotton farms and other manual jobs (“stoop labor,” it’s called in the films).