Group empowers farm working women
Last updated 4/30/2023 at 7:40pm | View PDF
Lideres Campesinas is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the lives of farm working women in the areas of leadership and advocacy so they can be a voice in their communities.
The organization represents a culmination of decades of work by farm working women (campesinas). These women have been leaders of many grassroots and mobilizing efforts to improve conditions for farm working communities.
It allows these long-time leaders and activists to coordinate their work statewide and has built collectives so that campesinas may become more effective agents of change.
The organization's principal goal is to form a communication network throughout California to promote the development of a united effort between campesinas and other groups that advocate the rights of the campesina community.
Lideres Campesinas makes available programs that help campesinas discover their own capacity to be a leader and serve as a vehicle to guide them on the path of finding their rights as a member of a family, local community, state, nation and global community.
Yesenia Acosta is a testament to the powerful transformation that women can experience through Lideres Campesinas.
She first sought the organization's help seven years ago and is now a North Kern County committee staff member.
Acosta has received training to work with other farm working women who have been victims of domestic violence and discrimination in the workforce.
As a leader of Lideres Campesinas, she also helps undocumented women navigate through the immigration process.
She is one of many women Lideres Campesinas has provided life-saving services to. Having lived with domestic violence and sexual assault and without legal status, she knows first-hand the challenges campesinas face.
"I lived with fear," Acosta said.
Now as a staff member, she brings passion and commitment to other women in the same situation she found herself in.
"We work to empower and convert these women into leaders in their communities," she said.
Lideres Campesinas brings women information regarding their rights in the workforce, the use of cancerous pesticides in the farms and dangerous work conditions and teaches the importance of healthy living.
Lideres Campesinas has an extensive reach serving not only Kern County but Coachella, Fresno, Greenfield, Soledad, Salinas, Sacramento, Sonoma, Napa, Merced, Madera and Huron.
Recently, leaders from the organization traveled to Washington, DC.
"We came to speak with members of Congress to look for solutions at a national level for a greater impact on the lives of women in the agricultural community in California and throughout the country," Acosta said.
Acosta encourages farm working women who may feel lost and scared to reach out to Lideres Campesinas.
"It changed my life, and could do the same for you."
To support the organization and donate to the cause, call 805-486-7776 or visit their website at liderescampesinas.org.