By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver/America Media
They are the forgotten front line heroes. Farm workers who are out in hot sun and in pouring rain across the U.S. risking they’re lives to make sure our country is fed. They are rarely mentioned in media reports. The farmers are recognized but not the workers who have been left to fend for themselves. Little if anything is being done to help this overwhelmingly Latino population deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Farmworker Justice states that Farmworkers are considered “essential workers,” risking their health to ensure that we have access to fruits and vegetables. Farmworkers face numerous challenges to protect themselves and their family members from COVID-19 due to their working and living conditions.
National Geographic reports that WHILE MILLIONS OF Americans shelter in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, farmworkers on California’s central coast move from row to row, carefully picking produce for U.S. consumption.
Many farmworkers are poor, with little or no access to health care. Many suffer from respiratory diseases that make them more susceptible to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Many live in crowded households and commute to work together, providing them with little opportunity for social distancing. All of these things make them targets for illness.
“Many are afraid to go to work, but also afraid not to,” says Juvenal Solano, a farmworker advocate in Oxnard, California. . “If we’re essential, we need help,” he says in Spanish. “Because we’re the people feeding the country.”
Hispanicize founder and one of the many organizers for Altísimo Live Manny Ruiz told Latin Life Denver Media “we know these are tough times for everybody so that is why we are asking for a $5 donation. No matter what your situation may be most people should be able to share $5 to support the more that 25 farmworker organizations that will benefit from the proceeds raised.”
Even though the online benefit is free, the program will feature a call to action for viewers to give cinco this cinco, with a $5 or more donation online or via text. Click “Donate Now” to make your donation online or text CINCO to 91999 to make your $5 donation to support farmworkers.
Inspired by Live Aid, the benefit aims to raise $3 million – $5 at a time – for the Farmworkers’ Pandemic Relief Fund and will include a jam-packed day of at-home performances, celebrity activations, comedy skits and much more. The festival will also highlight stories from farmworker leaders, as well as messages of gratitude and appreciation from notable individuals, with an overall goal of driving combined action to support the farmworker community.
Adriana Barraza, Andy Garcia; Ana Barbara; Angelica Vale; Belinda; Dayanara Torres; Elvis Crespo; Flor Amargo; Gloria Trevi; Ivy Queen; La Santa Cecilia; Las Cafeteras; Marc Anthony; Mario De La Torre; Ozomatli and Sandra Echeverría; have joined the historic livestream event along with A.B. Quintanilla III y Los Kumbia Allstarz; Adamari Lopez; Alejandro Fernandez Jr.; Ana Brenda Contreras; Anitta; Banda Recodo; Becky G; Bobby Pulido; Brian and Natalia Cordova Buckley; Carlos Vives; CNCO; Diane Guerrero; Edward James Olmos; Esai Morales; Fonseca; Farruko; Gente de Zona; Gloria and Emilio Estefan; Jesse & Joy; Jenny Yang; Juanes; Justin Quilles; La Energia Norteña; Larry Hernandez; Lila Downs; Luis Fonsi; Maluma; Making Movies; Marianna Burelli; Nicky Jam; Nicholas Gonzalez; Rosanna Arquette; Roberto Aguirre; Roberto Pulido; Sech; Stephanie Sigman; Steve Aoki; Silvestre Dangond; Tainy; Wisin y Yandel.
Fashion designers Mario De la Torre, Carlos Marrero and Raul Peñaranda, will also join the event to share how they are using their talent and unique designs in support of the pandemic. Some of their special edition farmworker-inspired designs will be available for purchase in support of the fund.
When/How to View Altísimo Live!
Altísimo Live! officially kicks off on @AltisimoLive’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope, and Twitch accounts simultaneously on Tuesday, May 5th at 10:00 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m. MT, 1:00 p.m. ET with an interactive livestream tailgating experience that will include entertainers, comedians, chefs, social media influencers, and other surprise personalities. iHeartLatino and PEOPLE en Español will also carry parts or all of the broadcast at various times on one or more of their respective livestream and/or broadcast platforms.
At 5:00 p.m. PT/ 8:00 p.m. ET, the groundbreaking interactive festival transforms into a series of continuous musical performances and interactive Q&A’s and experiences with the artists.
Audiences at home will also have several options throughout the day to get involved live on the show with opportunities to not only win prizes but also be featured on the show in a variety of creative ways.
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