Fernando’s cheerful nature adds a little sweetness to any day. He shares this and other traits with the strawberries he harvests. Did you know the strawberry isn’t a berry? Did you know farmworkers aren’t necessarily what they seem?
Fernando may not appear wealthy, but his bountiful kindness and happy life serve as the measure of his success.
The adaptable strawberry plant can tolerate a range of growing conditions and still thrive. To maintain an income, agricultural workers like Fernando must travel to find seasonal employment and adapt to their working conditions.
A dedicated father and husband, Fernando works hard to support his family. He relies on CalVans to arrive in the strawberry fields on time each day and make it home safely each night. He is the main driver of CalVans vanpool 812, where he enjoys the camaraderie of his coworkers during their commute.
Together, they share stories with loud voices and laughter before the sun rises on another workday. And as the sun sets, they give thanks for plentiful work and good health. They pray for the protection of their families back home and a safe return to them come season’s end.
During the strawberry harvest, Fernando stays in a small, coastal California town. He uses Facebook to share his adventures while away from home.
Pictures of his coworkers in the red and green fields appear together with photos of fishing the Pacific Ocean from a pier and catching the “Big One.” Fernando enjoys living in the coastal town, but looks forward to returning to his home and family in Heber, California.
The Imperial Valley community is also the location of his employer, Fresh Harvest.
Fernando and his crew appreciate the simple things in life and don’t worry too much about tomorrow. Like the strawberry, they thrive in a range of conditions by adapting to their environment. Their ability to persevere and maintain a positive outlook involves a measure of faith. Perhaps it’s their touch on the strawberry plant that sends a little sweetness our way.