Students in Señor Claudio Pérez's Spanish 5 class created a painted doors project called, "COVID-19 and Farm Workers." Inspired by academic lectures and the novel Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario, the doors highlight the pandemic's effect on farmworkers.
"Many farmworkers from Central America and Mexico are working in the fields, picking fruit and vegetables," explained Pérez, Modern Language Chair and Spanish instructor. "But with the pandemic, many of these farmworkers are getting sick and ignored. Yet, they are considered essential workers."
Farms in various parts of the country, notably California and Florida, have reported COVID-19 outbreaks among hundreds of workers, he added. "The federal government has not established a concrete plan to protect the workers from getting infected," Pérez said. "This lack of action has increased their risk of Coronavirus exposure."
Señor Pérez has initiated "border doors" projects for several years to highlight the traumatic experiences of Mexican and Central American immigrants. Last year, he represented his students and their work at an exhibit in Redmond, Wa. In 2017, Cascadia College in Bothell, Wa., exhibited Prep students' doors.