Visit to an immigrant school in Salinas

An equal and respectful “Hi” to everyone 😉

To describe some of the curricular experiences that we are having in Stanford, I’ll tell you about a visit to the immigrant school in Salinas.

The visit was part of the Human Rights –program. It was organized to provide an actual experience how human rights take place in immigrants’ everyday lives in the US. We (me and my fellow student Arni) drove to Salinas with our Dean Patricia, and met there a teacher and the school Director who told us about the educational system for immigrant children. Basically they provide an education until the end of high school, after which they courage students to the universities and try to organize scholarships for them (they have even scholarships for Stanford, Harvard etc.). Both the teacher and the school Director have an immigrant background, so they really have a passion to provide a proper education for the youth who are facing the same kind of situation they did in the past. And they really seem to reach good results!

After discussing the school system, we drove with the teacher to see the situation of immigrant workers in the farms. On the way, the teacher told us some rough stories about illegal immigration and their rights. He explained how some of the workers are working illegally with minimum compensation, and, he told what their work-days are like. On the other hand he explained that the farmers can’t really pay more for the workers as the margins are already so small in the vegetable&fruits -business; so the market competition has forced them to use illegal workforce with minimum wages. But at the same time the legal and illegal immigrant workers are happy to do the job as they are still paid way more than in their home countries. It was an interesting discussion that we had about the actual work behind the vegetable&fruits –business, and the discussion went even deeper…

Have to say, that the visit was truly an educative and an eye-opening experience.