Migrant Workers

What were migrant workers?

Migrant workers were individuals who moved from one region of a country to another in search of work on farms. Many migrant workers tried to find employment from their own country or neighboring countries. They harvested crops and did other seasonal work. They lived on the farms they worked at, usually in poorly constructed shacks. Migrant workers could usually make more money moving around doing farm work than they could in other jobs because of the poor economy during the Great Depression.


How did migrant workers survive?

Migrant workers survived by moving from area to area to find work. They followed the harvest around the state. Migrant workers could not support themselves on these low wages even with an entire family working. They created "ditchbank" camps along irrigation ditches in farmers' fields to live. These camps created a public health problem because of the poor sanitary conditions.

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What were migrant workers' living conditions like?

Migrant workers did no live in a very high society. Most migrant workers did not have stable homes to live in because they were constantly moving around. Sometimes they lived in cramped shacks, tents in ditches, and other times they lived in nicer small homes. Where they would end up depended on luck and the next place they would be working at to make their living.

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What did migrant workers do for fun?

After long days working on farms harvesting crops, migrant workers liked to relax. They would listen to and play songs using whatever instruments they had or could make. It was a nice time for the workers to forget about the long hard day of work and enjoy themselves.

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