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Half Moon Bay summit highlights farmworker quality-of-life issues

Farmworkers issues aired at Half Moon Bay summit meeting
Farmworkers issues aired at Half Moon Bay summit meeting 02:08

HALF MOON BAY -- Petra Murillo, a farmworker living in Half Moon Bay, embarked on a journey from her home in Mexico 22 years ago, in pursuit of a better life.

It has not been easy.

"We've never had a good living situation since we arrived," Murillo said, reflecting on the challenges faced by farmworkers like herself.

Murillo was one of many Coastside residents who attended a public summit Saturday in Half Moon Bay that focused on the critical issues farmworkers grapple with daily.

Among the significant hurdles discussed during the summit is the need for affordable housing.

"Our biggest problem is housing. We can't rent an expensive place to live because it's simply unaffordable based on our income," Murillo said in Spanish.

Other issues at the summit were crucial topics such as access to clean water and health care for farmworkers.

"Many farmers don't go to the doctor because they lack health insurance,"  Libier Gonzalez, another farm laborer, told KPIX in Spanish. "The high costs associated with medical care hinder their access to these essential services. From doctor visits to purchasing medication, everything is expensive."

The presence of elected officials at the summit is significant, explained Victoria Sanchez De Alba, chair of the Farmworker Affairs Committee and one of the event organizers. She emphasized the importance of community awareness and engagement in the legislative process to bring about positive change.

"It's crucial for the community to be informed about the efforts being made by elected officials and how they can contribute to passing legislation, securing funding, improving services and implementing projects that enhance the lives of farmworkers. They deserve the support,"  Sanchez De Alba said.

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