Chapter 9: El Campo — An Escondido Labor Camp
- What was the origin of the farm labor camp in Escondido?
- What are Maria Ibarra’s memories of this camp?
- What were the people who lived in the camp like?
- What was the daily life like in the labor camp in Escondido?
- What were women’s lives like in the labor camp?
- What did the workers do in the camp after work?
- What kind of recreation did the people in the camp have?
- What happened to the labor camp in Escondido?
Maria Ibarra remembers her growing up in a farm labor camp in Escondido, California —in San Diego’s North County—from 1967 through 1978. She discusses agriculture and the citrus industry in Southern California and looks at the social organization of work and leisure in the place known as "el campo" by Mexican workers. Her day-to-day descriptions of everyday life serve as reminders that while profound structural inequality is a fundamental part of working class Mexican lives, it is not the only defining feature. Working people’s lives also have meaning and purpose beyond that defined through relationships with dominant groups. The everyday practices of Mexican workers reveal aspirations and desires for security and cultural continuity. The everyday practices of workers serve to create "Mexican" spaces that become anchors for future chains of migration but also the basis for community. Escondido is like other contemporary Southern California communities — a thriving center of new Mexican settlement with a long history of past settlement.