“I always think of my family – my wife, Faviola, and my daughter, Jimena”

On a Mulmur farm, an essential seasonal worker misses his Mexican homeland.

June 25, 2020 | | Pandemic Journals

Pepe Lopez travels to Canada each summer from Mexico to work on a Mulmur farm. It feels different this year, he says.

Pepe Lopez travels to Canada each summer from Mexico to work on a Mulmur farm. It feels different this year, he says.

I arrived here in mid-April, maybe two weeks late. When we took the plane to Canada, it included only Mexicans, only workers. We were tested for Covid. We wore masks. We were in quarantine for two weeks.

I was lucky. I know people in Mexico who can’t get out. I’ll stay here for six months and 28 days, something like that. I count down the days, every day. It’s hard. I always think of my family – my wife, Faviola, and my daughter, Jimena. I left my farm and came here because I make more money. I have the same skills as all Mexicans – we can do almost everything.

Every morning I see the news from Mexico on my telephone. Three days ago, we had a map of the whole country where you could see just a couple of red spots. That means they are really bad for Covid. Two days ago, I saw the same news and all the country was red. No place was a different colour.

My friend Ricardo has Covid. He’s still alive, but he says it’s terrible. My family tries to stay home all the time. They wear masks. Only the big stores, like Walmart, are open. All the little ones, they’re closed. Everything is closed.

I miss my family, my wife, my daughter. We can’t go to the town. We do the same thing every day. We finish work. Take a shower. Cooking. We go to bed. I make Mexican food every day. A guy comes and sells us Mexican foods. My favourite is brown mole – with chicken, yes.

I always wish to know more about Canada. Canadian people are friendly people. I always say Canadian people are smart. Canadians have a machine to grind, a machine to do everything.

  • Story Continues Below Advertisements
  • All of us here have the same feelings when we leave our children behind. Sometimes we leave our children when they are little and about to walk. When we see them again, they can already walk and talk. Many of my compañeros gave up a lot to come here. Many people think we came to benefit our families. But, analyzing things, yes, they support us a lot to come here. We sometimes don’t know what we win or what we lose – moments we will never live again.

    It feels different this year. Everybody’s worried about getting Covid-19. I hope everyone stays safe, stays healthy. I know many people worry about this. But I think everything is going to be fine.

    As told to Nicola Ross. This interview was condensed and edited.

    About the Author More by Pepe Lopez

    Related Stories

    Pandemic Journals

    Pandemic Journals

    Jun 25, 2020 | Tralee Pearce | Pandemic Journals

    We thank everyone who shared a glimpse of their lives with us.

    Pandemic Journals

    Share Your Journal

    May 20, 2020 | In The Hills | Pandemic Journals

    Share your story with us using this Pandemic Journals form. Deadline is August 1.

    “I knew I had to say ‘yes!’”

    May 20, 2020 | Melissa Cianfarani | Pandemic Journals

    How this Bolton emergency childcare provider helps frontline workers do their jobs.

    Orangeville nurse Tray Nevin came down with Covid-19 in April. Her husband and kids followed soon after. All are well now.

    “I was sleeping 17 hours a day”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Tray Nevin | Pandemic Journals

    This Orangeville nurse contracted Covid-19 – along with her whole family.

    RaDeana Montgomery

    “I am now on my third sewing machine”

    Jun 23, 2020 | RaDeana Montgomery | Pandemic Journals

    How an amateur stitcher found purpose in making masks.

    “All my paid work is suspended”

    May 20, 2020 | Jane Mountain | Pandemic Journals

    This volunteer now makes grocery deliveries to seniors for free.

    Shelburne mayor Wade Mills is grateful for the compassion shown by the community.

    “The collective grief shared by our community is something that will long endure”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Wade Mills | Pandemic Journals

    Shelburne’s mayor reflects on both the tragedy that gripped his town and the compassion it inspired.

    Vanessa Kreuzer and Terry Doel have had to reinvent Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering and Le Finis café during the pandemic.

    “There was no time to wallow”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Vanessa Kreuzer | Pandemic Journals

    How the duo behind Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering are keeping Dufferin fed.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to vjones@inthehills.ca.