“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.

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

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