July 13, 1930
What I wouldn’t do to go back to simpler times. Where things were booming, when money was booming. Being a Mexican-American is difficult in these times. Now I live in a shanty and work 14-hour days just to make ends meet for my family. Blistering heat and the smell of fertilizer seep into my skin and refuse to be washed away. The miseries of being migrant worker, always traveling from place to place with groups of people I barely know. Continually searching for a farm that needs workers. My children desperately need food; we go days without barely eating anything. Working on a carrot farm provides some food, but that does not suffice for a good diet. So many people including me are suffering from malnourishment. My children go to school when they can, but since they are all above the age of 10 years old, they must work. I want my kids to have a better life than this, they deserve better. Our bodies are weak with hunger and exhaustion. Speaking of exhaustion, my eyelids are heavy and are threatening to close on me as I write this.
October 20, 1932
My husband left us here in the shanty. He left a note explaining how he couldn’t stand the humiliation of not being able to provide for us. Now I live here in a new place and tent, made up of a rusted car and scraps of fabric found on the way to the new peach farm. I guess you could say the change of scenery is okay. Living in California isn’t so bad… I should be devastated from all that my husband left me with (nothing), but I’m to insensitive to what happens in my surroundings and in my own life right now to care about a man leaving me. From what I here things aren’t any better in Mexico either, where my brothers and nephews live. It’s nearly impossible to get paid more than 45 cents an hour. I continue to work harder and harder just so I can feed the children and be a provider. This is a terrible time, and a terrible life. Exhaustion is my life.
April 17, 1943
I have found these journal entries with my mother’s belongings while we were going through them. She is dead. The doctor’s say it was from exhaustion, but I myself seem sceptical. I decided to keep my mother’s legacy alive. I will continue this journal in respect towards her. So many things have changed since my mother had last written in here. The Depression is seemingly over. However, the fear of another one is imminent. We can only hope and pray that such a thing will not happen again. Migration is no longer my career path, but I will never forget those times. They are far to engraved in my mind to ever be erased. From what I can remember, pay was horrible as well as the treatment of the employees. Breaks were rarely given and we had to work unimaginable amounts of hours. It felt like slave work. I hope that in the future, there will be laws and rights for workers. The migrant worker is surely treated unfair.
July 13, 1930