Local advocacy group hosts caravan May 1 for undocumented workers

Centro Del Pueblo (CDP) will be hosting an art caravan at 5 p.m. tomorrow, May 1 that has four destinations in Eureka, with the Bayshore Mall being the meeting point.

The purpose is to first recognize, then honor and appreciate migrant workers who might not be seeing fair treatment in the workplace or have had their rights violated. 

Christina Lastra is a member of local advocacy groups CDP and Buen Lucha who is also contributing art to the caravan. She said she wrote an ironic oxymoron in preparation for the event on international workers’ day.

“The undocumented aboriginal of this continent pick the food they are not afforded,” said Lastra. 

Illustration by Kassandra Rice.

CDP had planned since January to explore artistic forms of expression with the local community.

Brenda Perez, member of CDP, said that the art caravan is a way of still being able to display some of the art that has been made by the youth, as well as other members of the migrant community. 

“We are not slaves. We are not simply cheap manual labor,” said Perez. “We are artists. We have the potential to express ourselves artistically.”

The mall is seen as an emblematic location to begin the caravan because of the criticism toward capitalism and consumerism that CDP and other local organizations have expressed. 

The second phase in an ongoing set of economic stimulus packages was passed by congress during March, but isn’t going to be helping migrant workers in the U.S. This is affecting people in the Latinx communities where there are now going to be households that receive less help. 

Perez said that it’s a critical situation that’s starting to get to a new level of anxiety and desperation. She said that working with family members who reach out to CDP involves emotional labor as well since some people might feel some remorse for being in this country. 

“No. We don’t deserve this treatment,” said Perez. “In those situations, we can ask them, ‘What can we do? You’re mad? How are we going to organize? What can you do?’” 

The United States Census Bureau shows that people who identify as Hispanic make up more than 11 percent of the population in Humboldt County, which is estimated to be 135,558 in July 2020.

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