Most of our harvest team is from Aguascalientes, Mexico. Many are related – cousins, uncles, nephews and even a father and two of his children – Javier, Lupita, and Cruz. Cruz and Lupita are son and daughter of Javier. Javier has been with the Chef’s Garden for over twenty years after starting in 1994. He has worked with countless varieties of crops. During his tenure at The Chef’s Garden, Javier has been a grower of tomatoes, squash blossoms, and much more. “This farm is completely different farm,” said Javier, “It’s a good opportunity for work.” Although Javier is a capable farm worker, he struggles with the amount of English spoken on the farm. “It’s hardest to speak English,” said Javier. Luckily, Javier has his son and daughter to assist him with English, and both his son and daughter can act as translators when needed.
“I have experience in this, and was invited by Bobby Jr.” says Lupita, Javier’s daughter. Lupita is the only female member of the Mexican team, and enjoys her time outside of work as well, “I like to visit stores, visit places in the area, and cook.”
Javier’s son, Cruz, got a job through his father as well, “I finished High School and got a job through my father,” says Cruz, “I stay because I am thinking about my future.” Cruz is a little bit different from his sister, and enjoys artistry in his free time, “I like to keep my mind working,” he says. The hardest part of the job for Cruz is being away from family in Mexico, “Leaving family for a long time is hard; I don’t get to see my child grow.”
Last but not least is our beloved member Jose. Jose was recommended to The Chef’s Garden because of his experience in growing tomatoes at home and his friendship with Javier. Although being away from home is difficult, modern technology allows for Jose to call his family once or twice a day. Jose enjoys his job and the people he works with, despite the summer sun, “I like the job, and I like the people,” says Jose. In his free time, Jose is an avid reader when he isn’t on the phone with his family. However, Jose does miss certain aspects of being home, “I miss seeing the kids grow, it’s something taken for granted.”
Our international crew may have come for a stable job, but they stay for a pleasant work environment and the friendships they have made. There is a brother and sisterhood between our Team Members. All in all, our Mexican crew is a group of motivated, hardworking and fun-loving individuals that we couldn’t imagine not being here every year as a part of our team.