Uncategorized

Honoring Migrant Lives – Welcoming the Antorcha Guadalupana – Two Years of Human Rights Center in Falfurrias

Honoring Migrant Lives – Welcoming the Antorcha Guadalupana – Two Years of Human Rights Center in Falfurrias

By on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Members of Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center participated in events Honoring Migrant Lives this past weekend and helped raise awareness on the plight of migrant families as they cross through the brush for a better life in the north. Friday, October 30th members and allies gathered at the South Texas Civil Rights Project in Alamo, where Fuerza del Valle is housed, to construct at traditional Day of the Dead altar for a ceremony to honor migrant lives. In the evening the dozens of unidentified bodies found in Brooks County in the previous year were honored with a ceremony that consisted of a moment of silence, offerings of water for the water stations in Brooks County, and a reading of the unidentified migrant bodies identifying exactly at which ranches and what date they were found. “That night at Fuerza, that was a beautiful altar we built. Seeing one up closely in real life was beautiful. It made me think of my own dad who has passed away. I took care of him during his last years but was not there for those final moments a lot like the families of these migrants. It’s a frustrating type of confusion; you can’t get rid of that….There’s no closure.” -Martha, Fuerza del Valle Member- Read more about this: Somber ceremony honors migrant lives Saturday the 31st we joined the South Texas Human Rights Center in welcoming the Antorcha Guadalupana and in celebrating two years of the Humans Rights Center and the fight to save Migrant Lives. We marched with the Antorcha for about a mile to the grounds of the Brooks County Courthouse where we then went on to commemorate the two year anniversary of the South Texas Human Rights Center, a big hug and shout out to Eduardo Canales, Sister Pam, and the community that supports the Human Rights Center and prioritizes the struggle to save Migrant Lives. The South Texas Human Rights Center maintains over 100 water stations throughout Brooks and surrounding Counties and has been the catalyst in getting DNA testing for migrant remains. Read more about this: Remembering the dead “I got motivated, they are so brave [the migrants] to continue forward for their lives, for their families. They...

Read More
“Residents in Texas: Wage Theft Hurts Working Families”

“Residents in Texas: Wage Theft Hurts Working Families”

By on Jun 18, 2014 in Uncategorized |

http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/residents-in-texas-wage-theft-hurts-working-families/ Residents in Texas: Wage Theft Hurts Working Families People who provide labor and services in the U.S. need to be paid for doing so. In an opinion essay, a Texas group says more enforcement is needed to ensure just that. Erika Galindo | Special to Equal Voice News June 17, 2014 When President Obama begins the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, attendees should ask if the leader of our country will actually try to “better support working” people by combating wage theft, which is when earnings are owed but employers withhold or deny them. It is one of the most common labor abuses plaguing workers, especially in South Texas. Working families want less rhetoric and more action. Fuerza del Valle Workers Center has been vigorously combating wage theft in South Texas and raising awareness on the issue. In May, Fuerza del Valle organized two demonstrations to denounce wage theft in the construction of public schools. About 40 workers are owed money for the hours they worked. Augustin Reyna is one of the workers who was cheated out of wages, two and a half weeks worth of pay in his case. “This is the first time something like this happens with a boss,” Reyna said at the demonstration. Unfortunately, cases like Reyna’s are becoming quite common. Wage theft is a quickly growing epidemic throughout the United States. In the Rio Grande Valley, not receiving pay, being paid less than minimum wage, shorting hours, not being paid overtime, stealing tips and making employees work off the clock is an increasingly frequent yet under-reported crime. “They’d tell us, ‘Come (pick up your check) on Friday’ and then it was Monday and then Tuesday. Finally they told us that they didn’t have money because another company owed them money,” Maximino, another cement worker facing wage theft, said referring to an employer. “We realized then…that we wouldn’t be paid.” Maximino stated that some of his colleagues had to sell their vehicles and other items to pay rent while they waited for a check that has yet to be issued, an unprecedented economic hardship affecting their families. According to the Economic Policy Institute, which compared figures from the U.S. Department of Labor and...

Read More
Announcing the First Fuerza del Valle Ally Encuentro!

Announcing the First Fuerza del Valle Ally Encuentro!

By on Jun 9, 2014 in News, Uncategorized |

This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools – a historic campaign to create change in the deep South through civic engagement and to address the racial inequalities in the school system. Drawing from this history, Fuerza del Valle is proud to announce it’s first encuentro of worker leaders and community allies to bring an end to labor abuses and promote equity in the Rio Grande Valley. The encuentro will take place July 12th, 2014 from 10am-2pm in Alamo, TX. Because of limited space and resources, we are asking ALL allies who want to attend to apply here. Deadline for applications is July 3rd, 2014. If you cannot join us, we are already looking for a larger space and resources for future encuentros. Join us in the fight for dignity and respect – apply today! For questions, please e-mail fuerzadelvalle@gmail.com. Thank you for your...

Read More
Call For Papers: Domestic Workers Conference Hosted By Fuerza And Allies

Call For Papers: Domestic Workers Conference Hosted By Fuerza And Allies

By on Jan 10, 2014 in News, Uncategorized |

   “Invisible Shackles: Domestic Workers, Glocalization and the Matrix of Exploitation” April 22 – 23, 2014 The Cooper Center, South Texas College, McAllen, TX The Women’s Studies Committee of South Texas College in conjunction with Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center and the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León is pleased to announce a call for papers for the Ninth Annual Symposium on Human Trafficking. The symposium traditionally consists of panel presentations, guest speakers from academia, government agencies, NGOs, and investigative journalists, and an art exhibit with juried submissions from local and international artists. This year the focus will be on domestic workers and the confluence of global and local factors that make domestic work akin to modern day slavery. While we will explore the particular face of domestic work in the Rio Grande Valley and the trans-border we will also explore the global processes that shape migration (sometimes forced) and exploitation of domestic workers. We welcome submissions from scholars, practitioners and journalists whose work focuses on domestic workers, forced labor, migrant domestic workers, trafficking and the inter-linkages between global and local factors that lead to modern day slavery like conditions. Proposals that highlight the gendered nature of modern day slavery will be given special consideration. Proposals (abstract of up to 200 words) for papers, panels and roundtables will be accepted through February 28, 2014, and may be sent via e-mail to either Jenny B. Clark, Chair of the Women’s Studies Committee, at jclark@southtexascollege.edu, or Pooja Rishi at prishi@southtexascollege.edu Please include the term “domestic workers” the subject line. Selected papers from the symposium will be eligible to be included in an upcoming publication. Please pass on to your colleagues as appropriate.  We shall make prompt responses to all...

Read More