The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NMSU CAMP raises farmworkers awareness one bandana at a time 

Andrea Vasquez
NMSU students decorate various white bandanas, showing their solidarity with The Bandana Project. March 26, 2024.

As part of the events for Farmworkers Awareness Week, NMSU CAMP held The Bandana Project, a public awareness campaign that supports sexual violence farmworker survivors, on Tues., March 26 outside of their offices located next to Milton Hall.  

The Bandana Project is a nationwide campaign that advocates for sexual violence survivors from marginalized and underrepresented communities by making their struggles visible. White bandanas are decorated and hung as a symbol of support, acting as a physical expression that directly supports farmworker women.  

This year, CAMP paid tribute and raised awareness for farmworker women in the United States.  

“We’re painting bandanas that we’re going to donate to the farmworkers to bring awareness to the sexual harassment that happens in the fields, unfortunately,” said Citlali Delgado, Vice President of NMSU CAMP Student Council.  

A Student colors a white bandana in support of The Bandana Project. March 26, 2024. (Andrea Vasquez)

According to the United Press International, studies show that 80% of Mexican and Mexican American women farmworkers in the United States have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. 

Of the 1 to 1.4 farmworkers working in the U.S., approximately 24% are women. Most of these women are immigrants, mainly from Mexico, that seek these types of jobs due to their immigration status.  

Despite the demanding work these women perform day in and day out, most of them live below the poverty line and endure hostile, male-dominated environments that put them in a vulnerable place in the agriculture sector.  

“It takes a lot for a woman to speak up and it takes, oh my god, like the process of going to the police and getting everything together. It’s a whole process like you can easily be discouraged to speak up, especially when you don’t want to get involved,” said Gemma Lozano, a graduate student who is related to a survivor.  

In the state of California alone, 90% of farmworker women interviewed in a study mentioned that sexual harassment is a major issue in their jobs, highlighting a major concern that extends nationwide.  

This motivated the initiative The Bandana Project, a campaign originally created by Mónica Ramírez in 2007, now aimingto lend a hand to the women that feed us.  

Ramírez was directing Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and this project was created in conjunction due to the raising problematic woman farmers were experiencing.  

The organization stands strong to this day as a non-profit led by Justice for Migrant Women and keeps inspiring individuals from different institutions such as NMSU CAMP.  

A handout from NMSU CAMP details several facts about farmworkers. March 26, 2024. (Andrea Vasquez)

NMSU CAMP is an opportunity for students from migrant or seasonal farm working backgrounds to feel empowered and to have all the guidance and support they may need. Their mission is to recruit, retain and graduate their students, as well as making room for others that want to join along the way.  

“We also always go out to recruit. We go to the fields; we go to schools. Anybody that has a background, working seasonally,” said Gemma Lozano.  

Since 2002, CAMP has been committing to student needs through federal funding assistance. Their goal is to help incoming first-year students succeed in their college journey. 

 “Well, it means a lot because we come from agricultural families, so we know what it’s like to be a whole family. Like we come from working from the fields to here in college like it’s just a big help for us,” said Jonathan Morales, student from CAMP.  

 For more information on the events held by NMSU CAMP for Farmworker Awareness Week you may click here

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About the Contributor
Andrea Vasquez
Andrea Vasquez, Staff Writer
Andrea Vasquez is a second semester transfer senior at New Mexico State University, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Although she was born in Mexico, her life has been shaped by the border experience and having the chance to be part of a tri-city adventure (Juarez, El Paso, Las Cruces). She previously attended El Paso Community College and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. In 2022, she interned at KTSM Channel 9 News in El Paso, Texas and completed a photography internship at The Santa Fe New Mexican during the summer of 2023. She also participates in NMSU’s student broadcast News 22 as a Spanish anchor and producer for Noticias 22. She intends to pursue a career in the journalism field as both a reporter and a photographer. She is entering her first semester at The Round Up as a staff writer and photographer. For her, having the opportunity to learn and contribute to the NMSU community is a great privilege that she does not take for granted. Journalism offers a chance to observe events closely and more professionally, but disconnecting is also important for her. She likes to enjoy outdoor activities as well as spending time with family and friends and catching up with series and documentaries.

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