Carmen is now 29 years old and a 12-year veteran of maquiladora work. Her struggles take place around four key issues: she organizes to bring electricity into her neighborhood; she pressures the government health system to test her for lead poisoning from on-the-job exposure; she undertakes a labor claim against a Sanyo factory which laid her off, along with many other workers, without the legally required compensation; and she works to provide a healthy, happy childhood for her three children, despite her poverty.
Carmen sees one key to a better future - educating herself and working together with others to change their living and working conditions:
Carmen wins a financial settlement against Sanyo, but gets labeled as a troublemaker and laid off from her new job at the Panasonic factory. She faces the possibility that she may be blacklisted from future factory work because of her organizing efforts, left with three children to raise, severe health problems and no stable source of income.
Carmen and her colleagues weave a multilayered image of today's Tijuana
and speak of hope for our capacity to carve out lives of change and agency
in this new and complicated century.
|fotos: daniel gorrell|