PHOTO REPORT: Celebration in Immokalee!


CIW members gather to celebrate independence holidays of Mexico, Central America, and mark beginning of Florida tomato season…

With the start of the 2016-2017 tomato season right around the corner, farmworkers and their families are making their way back to Immokalee after a long, hot summer of following the tomato harvest.  And for the second year in a row, Immokalee workers were not alone in their annual trek north: Tomato pickers in six states along the East Coast received visits from the Fair Food Program’s CIW education team this summer, learning about their fundamental human rights on northern FFP farms.  

This past Sunday — as happens this time every September — the CIW hosted hundreds of returning workers for the celebration of the Fiestas Patrias, marking the independence holidays of Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries in Central America.  The annual celebration coincides with the launch of the full slate of community activities that have always been at the heart of the CIW’s work: Wednesday membership meetings, Sunday Women’s group meetings, the daily traffic at the CIW’s co-operative run store, all-day programming of the Coalition’s low-power community radio station, Radio Conciencia 107.7, and much more.

Today, to mark this festive launch of the new season, we bring you a short, colorful photo report from the 2016 Fiestas Patrias celebration from Sunday!  The party started off with its usual high energy, sparked by the entertainment of longtime CIW member, Galactin the Clown…


… and with hundreds of workers, both newcomers and longtime Immokalee residents, passing to collect information about activities in the CIW community center and stickers for Radio Conciencia:


The festivities were punctuated by a few friendly competitions, including sack racing and some pretty impressive dancing from the younger attendees:



This year the crowd was treated to a particularly special performance by the Women’s Group of a traditional Oaxacan dance, serving both as a piece of home for those from Southern Mexico and a beautiful display of cultural tradition for everyone else:


More than anything, the party was marked by the vibrant spirits of a diverse community coming back together — and telling of a great season ahead at the heart of the Fair Food Nation!