Documenting migrant farm workers in the Nebraska Panhandle

Gaspar and Maricela Garcia: Faces of change

Photos by Bethany Trueblood

Gaspar Garcia and his wife Maricela first came to Nebraska from Texas in 1992. They worked at farms every year until this year and used to migrate back and forth between Nebraska and Texas. A couple of years ago, Gaspar had a work accident which led to back injuries. For the past two years his family has stayed in Bayard, Neb. Gaspar currently does not work due to his injuries. Besides his injuries, the Garcias said the chemicals the farmers use make it difficult to find work.

Maricela Garcia has worked as a cook at Bridgeport Elementary for three years. Everyday after school she brings home the leftover food. Those who know Maricela say she is a wonderful cook; she has had thoughts about opening a restaurant. In her spare time she prepares tamales and food plates to sell. Maricela said her job as a school cook is not what she really wants to do, but she needs the work and the money. She hopes to take classes to improve her English so she can try to get a job using her psychology degree she received at a university in Mexico.

Maricela prepares a goat that she and her husband bought from a local farmer. Cabrito-meat from a very young goat between 4 and 8 weeks old- is a traditional Mexican dish. Every part of the goat is prepared and consumed, including the head, brains, and eyeballs.

Gaspar killed the goat himself with one of his knives.


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