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Alternative Spring Break 2013-2014 - The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley

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Trip Name: 
The Hands That Feed Us: Migrant Health in Underserved Agricultural Communities of the Central Valley
Trip Location: 
Central Valley, CA
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Trip Description: 

"The hands that feed us are often invisible hands, hands of people who work in the shadows of a multibillion-dollar industry without enjoying its rewards."


            "The Human Cost of Food"

Walk into any market and you’re likely to see a colorful spectrum of produce lining the walls, marked with low prices by the pound. Yet behind the scenes, such delicious creations most likely stem from backbreaking work, that which has taken major tolls on the very contributors to California’s agricultural success: migrant workers. Coupled with debilitating working and living conditions, the deprivation of workers’ rights due to immigration status, prevalence of low wages, and lack of access to essential commodities and health care not only contribute significantly to poor health outcomes within this population but also, reflect a growing need to understand and engage such issues from various levels. Through our winter course, we will learn about a whole host of social and cultural factors driving health disparities within these communities through informative readings as well as through academic discussions with professors and each other. During our spring break trip, we will interact directly with not only the migrant farm workers, themselves, but also, with the various stakeholders involved in their well-being, including but not limited to: farm owners, health care providers, community activists, lobbyists, non-profit organizations, and policy-makers. Collectively, such experiences will help us develop an informed, multidisciplinary perspective on health within these underserved communities, enabling us to evaluate current efforts to alleviate existing issues and to contribute to the promotion of health for these hardworking migrant workers, whether immediate or in the near future.

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