StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Breaking the migrant farm worker cycle
Ildefonsa Perez worked for years as a migrant farm worker, and wanted a better life for her children.
At barely 18 and newly married, Ildefonsa Perez found herself living in the United States and working long, hard hours as a migrant farm worker. She spoke to her daughter, Ana Perez and StoryCorps Tampa Bay about the experience.
"We had to travel to probably nine different states, " Ildefonsa Perez said. "Not for fun. To survive! We always wanted the best for our children."
Ana remembers her and her brothers and sisters helping her parents on the weekends in the orange groves of Florida.
"I appreciated that, because we got to help you," Ana Perez said. She recalled how hard the work was and how hot the Florida sun could be.
"We wanted you to see how difficult and hard that type of work was," Ildefonsa Perez said. "Because we wanted . . . all of you to stay in school. I knew that was not what I wanted for my family. I wanted you to do better."