Arnulfo Solorio’s desperate mission to recruit farmworkers for the Napa Valley took him far from the pastoral vineyards to a raggedy parking lot in Stockton, in the heart of the Central Valley.
Solorio recruiting workers in Stockton.
Carrying a fat stack of business cards for his company, Silverado Farming, Solorio approached one prospect, a man with only his bottom set of teeth. He told Solorio that farm work in Stockton pays $11 to $12 an hour. Solorio countered: “Look, we are paying $14.50 now, but we are going up to $16.” The man nodded skeptically.
Solorio moved on to two men huddled nearby, and returned quickly. “They were drug addicts,” he said. “And, they didn’t have a car.”
Before the day was through, Solorio would make the same pitch to dozens of men and women, approaching a taco truck, a restaurant and a homeless encampment. Time was short: He needed to find 100 workers to fill his ranks by April 1, when grapevines begin to grow and need constant attention.
As Islam becomes more and more woven into the fabric of American society, new groups are being formed as part of Islam’s historic communitarian outreach toward and concern for civil society in general. A recent organization that bears very honorable mention is the Muslim-Latino collaborative.
Given the orientation of the current Trump administration and the administration’s campaigns, both obvious and subtle, against Muslims and Latinos, the Collaborative is both timely and to the rescue.
To learn more about this important civic addition, The Muslim Observer has interviewed Shakeel Syed, the Muslim initiator of the Collaborative, and a well-known and respected member of both the Muslim and non-Muslim community.