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Story Publication logo August 19, 2020

For an Agricultural Worker, Supporting His Family Means Being Separated From Them

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Screenshot from "Guanajuato Norte," a film produced by Ingrid Holmquist and Sana Malik. United States, 2018.
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Every year, men from Mexico travel to work on farms in Connecticut, leaving behind families and...

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For over two decades, Winny Contreras has worked at Rose's Berry Farm in Connecticut, visiting his family in Guanajuato, Mexico, just once a year. Although his sacrifice has allowed his children to obtain a higher education, he says his life "is divided into two parts: here and in Mexico."

Appearing in The New Yorker, the short documentary "Guanajuato Norte" by 2018 Columbia Reporting Fellows Ingrid Holmquist and Sana A. Malik documents the challenges faced by migrant workers like Contreras, whose remittances help provide for their loved ones back home.

"I'm lucky that I can come and go, but many of my companions cannot," says Contreras, who obtained a Green Card in 1986. "It's not easy to cross the border anymore."

The film is part of Holmquist and Malik's Pulitzer Center-supported reporting project, which chronicles how harsher border policies have increasingly separated the families of migrant farmworkers who serve as the backbone of U.S. agriculture.

To read a full article on the film from The New Yorker, click here.

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