a lettuce field
Civic Group
Center for Farmworker Families

Only 10% of the children of migrant workers graduate high school.

Years active: 8

Their story: While doing her PhD more than two decades and studying the impact of NAFTA on sustainable farms in Mexico, Dr. Ann Lopez became appalled by what she saw as a growing humanitarian crisis. And that made her realize she didn’t want to pursue academic work in a university setting, but rather, she wanted to work to try to improve the lives of farmers who are grappling with harsh conditions, including exposure to pesticides, crowded housing conditions and increasing hostility towards immigrants. That led to the foundation of The Center for Farmworker Families, with a goal of helping farmworkers and their families in California and Mexico. This includes raising visibility and awareness through outreach, fundraisers and providing needed resources.They also host a monthly event in which they distribute food, toiletries, clothing and more to farmworkers and their families. The organization was incorporated as a non-profit in 2012.

Fundraising focus:

  • Oaxacan Community Shed: Improves family life by supplying clothing and needed household and food items to family members. More here.
  • Center for Farmworker Families Tutoring: A free in-home tutoring educational outreach program to children of farmworker families in the Santa Cruz/Watsonville area. More here.

Dr. Ann Lopez

Dr. Ann López is the Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years.

I either do something about this in my own backyard or I get ulcers — there’s no choice.