Farmworker continues to educate and inspire others

Posted 10/26/20

A new book, “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World,” features Lupe Gonzalo.

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Farmworker continues to educate and inspire others


IMMOKALEE — A new book, “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World,” features Lupe Gonzalo, a familiar face of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Gonzalo worked in the agricultural fields of the United States for many years as a migrant farmworker, harvesting tomatoes, citrus, peppers, and other vegetables and fruits.

“Like many kids her age, she wanted to fight injustices of our society. Lupe was raised in a poor neighborhood of Guatemala where, from an early age, she started working in agricultural fields to support her family. Lupe suffered from poverty and difficult working conditions; the little she earned was not enough for her to help maintain her parents,” her biography explained. The story goes on, “Lupe decided in 2000 to migrate to the U.S, leaving her entire family and hometown behind. Her aspirations were simple, yet very difficult to achieve. She wanted to work her way out of poverty and provide for her family as much as possible. Consequently, Lupe settled in Immokalee, a small town in South Florida where she started working, once again, in agricultural fields as a tomato picker. The work was exhausting and caused her pain. Years passed, and the wear and tear caused by the arduous work conditions made Lupe make a decision that would change her fate. Indeed, as a result of low wages ~ $20/day, lack of drinking water, abysmal heat, violence by supervisors and sexual abuse, Lupe decided in 2010 to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.”

A dynamic member and leader of the CIW, Gonzalo works on the Fair Food Program education team, where they teach workers’ rights education in seven states, hosts daily radio shows on the CIW’s community radio station, leads weekly women’s group meetings, and addresses complaints from workers regarding abuse and wage theft claims, and gives speeches nationwide on the challenges faced by farmworkers in Florida. She has been featured on CNN Freedom Project’s series regarding the CIW Fair Food Program, and was named a “Community Trailblazer” by Equal Voice Magazine.

“CIW Women’s Group leaders, like Gonzalo, have inspired women across the globe to demand better protections at work and speak up against abuse. We’re proud to be counted among the other 99 incredible women who are igniting change worldwide by sharing their stories,” read a post on the CIW Facebook page.

The new book can be ordered from the Rebel Girls website: