Activists led by the community group Calexico Needs Change have set up an encampment for farmworkers on a small piece of land alongside the U.S.-Mexico border wall. 

It offers a place to sleep during the week so the farmworkers can avoid challenging daily commutes from their homes in Mexico. Without the encampment, the workers would have to leave their homes as early as midnight so they don’t get stuck in long lines at the border later in the morning.

For some farmworkers who are experiencing homelessness, it is their home for now.

The conditions are rough. There’s no running water or electricity. Outside of the shadow of the border fence, there’s little shade.  

The community activists who established the encampment in January envision a space that can fill a variety of needs for farmworkers, but the future of the land remains uncertain.

The Calexico City Council recently voted to sell the property to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers without realizing the federal government was no longer able to purchase the land due to President Joe Biden’s proclamation halting border wall construction. 

Sergio Macias walks from the Calexico farmworker encampment to downtown where he will get a ride to work before dawn, Feb. 24, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Sergio Macias walks through an intersection in downtown Calexico where he and other farmworkers gather for work before dawn, Feb. 24, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Farmworkers stack boxes of cabbage at Vessey Farms in Holtville, Feb. 23, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
A farmworker harvests cabbage on Vessey Farms in Holtville, Feb. 23, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
A Biden-Harris campaign flag flies at an encampment for farmworkers that has been set up in Calexico, March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Humberto Chavez waters plants in a new garden at the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Humberto Chavez passes in front of a tent that serves as the office at the Calexico encampment, March 18, 2021. Chavez is a retired farmworker who had been at the encampment for more than a week after undergoing a medical procedure. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Hugo Castro, one of the people who helped build the farmworker encampment in Calexico, shows crosses that he has taped to the border fence, March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Alejandro Cazares stands in the entrance to the encampment office in Calexico on March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
An ornate lamp sits on a desk in a tent of the Calexico farmwokers’ encampment, March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
José Mundaca talks with Alejandro Cazares at the Calexico farmworker encampment on Feb. 23, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Antonio Cuevas fries chicken in his tent at the Calexico farmworker encampment on March 18, 2021. Cuevas lives with his wife in Mexicali but works in the Imperial County fields. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)
Hugo Castro, one of the people who helped build the farmworker encampment, digs rows for irrigation in the encampment garden, Calexico, March 18, 2021. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

Type of Content

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Zoë Meyers is a photo and video journalist at inewsource. Zoë loves working as a visual journalist because it gives her the privilege of witnessing moments in people's personal lives and in our community that can enhance our understanding of important stories. When she's not behind the camera,...