Volunteers surprise Half Moon Bay farmworkers with tamales, Christmas presents

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Thursday, December 21, 2023
Half Moon Bay farmworkers surprised with tamales, Xmas presents
After making thousands of tamales this week, volunteers went to farms across Half Moon Bay to deliver them to farmworkers along with Christmas gifts.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. -- After making thousands of tamales this week, volunteers went to farms across Half Moon Bay to deliver the delicious dishes plus Christmas presents to farmworkers.

Instead of a sleigh, Santas rode in a caravan to surprise Half Moon Bay farmworkers.

Half Moon Bay nonprofit ALAS drove a truck to multiple farms with 300 bags full of gifts. Farmworker Jose Menchaca was thinking about his two daughters the whole time, saying: "It helps us a lot."

When farmworker Yesenia Garcia saw the truck and the volunteers, she was overwhelmed with joy.

"We feel special," said Garcia.

Garcia started working at Cabrillo Farms a decade ago.

"I actually started right after high school. So since then, I've been working here," said Garcia.

Now, the farm is also home to her entire family. She showed us inside her home.

Volunteers with the Farmworker Caravan made thousands of tamales to go along with ALAS gifts.

"I think they made 2,400 tamales yesterday as a group at one of the churches," said Mary Edson, volunteer with the farmworkers Caravan.

These two groups joined forces to say "thank you" to farmworkers after a trying year following the January mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, plus the pandemic.

"We also have to be in the good and in the bad. In the moments of celebration and in the moments of pain. If we are in those moments, then we know we are doing our job," said Enrique Bazán, ALAS board member.

The caravan made stops at six farms in Half Moon Bay.

At one of the farms, 20 farmworkers took a break from harvesting to receive gifts. For many, this was their chance to get presents for their kids.

Farmworker Raul Juarez got emotional. He didn't have gifts for his four kids this year. But now, he will go home and place gifts under the tree.

"I'm very happy about this, because sometimes we don't have enough money to buy things like this, and my babies are going to be very, very happy," said Juarez.

As Juarez went back to the field, the caravan continued its route to the next farm to spread more cheer.