Research done by Humberto Rojas
California has the most amazing history in the west coast of the United States that has been documented and archive by historians. For example, the gold rush, the railroad facilitated boom, and the establishment of the Spanish Missions, but what about the history of Latinos that migrated to the state of California in particularly to Orange County. American society has developed stereotypes of Latinos as individuals with low poverty. However, one thing we need to understand is that Latinos in general are reshaping America’s identity into a new complex structure, which is the Latino culture because they want to be American, as Latinos. Since the 1970’s the Latino community has been largely increasing and by 2040 California will be half of the Latino population. Therefore, I have researched and studied the barrio of the Jornaleros here in Orange County. The purpose of this research is to give Jornaleros in Orange County a voice and respect, but most importantly to see the struggles they face day by day. Society needs to understand the importance of Jornalero barrios because their hard work in this country is major to the state’s economy. Many of the Jornaleros that come to the United States are illegal immigrants majority from Mexico and Central America. I came across many personal stories from Jornaleros around Orange County. My primary focus was in the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Tustin, Garden Grove, and Huntington Beach. My research involved plenty of interviews from local Jornaleros, but also did a lot of observing to understand the role of a Jornalero here in Orange County.
This semester I brought my barrio JORNALEROS a voice, respect, and most importantly their stories so that society can understand them a little more. Jornaleros, here in Orange County morning after morning will still continue this journey of standing at Home Depot, Lowes, U-Haul locations, gas stations, liquors, and commercial parking lots so that contractors and homeowners will hire them.
Many people don’t realize the struggles a Jornalero can face, but people who are racist and against Jornaleros will always hate locations like Home Depot who has aided Jornaleros economically. Unfortunately, some Jornaleros have ruin the reputation overall because some urinate around the premises, throw trash on the sidewalk, and even drink liquor where it upsets the community and people who visit these locations. Not all Jornaleros behave like this, but the few who do this gives them a negative reputation and where businesses lose customers because of their bad actions. Regardless of their bad actions Jornaleros have created a barrio here in Orange County and around the country where all they want is respect and acknowledgment, but most importantly to find a job for the day so they can utilized the skills they have attained and service any task homeowners or contractors request. Majority of the Jornaleros are from Mexico and Central America and as many more come to this country in the next 20 years, Jornaleros will always come for one reason, TO WORK. The American dream is what every Jornalero I interviewed told me was the reason they came to this country because they wanted a better future for them and their families. Thank you all who had the opportunity to read this blog and here is a picture of my presentation about JORNALEROS in Orange County at Fullerton’s Public Library. Gracias Profesor Gustavo Arellano for another great semester!