New Mexican Consulate Visits Yakima
Doctor Roberto Dondisch, the new consul of the Mexican Consulate in Washington, visited Yakima for the first time on Wednesday.
The purpose of his visit was to talk with guest workers at Sundquist and let them know that they are here to help and assist them.
"We come to different places where Mexican people work and to make sure that they know what there rights are, to make sure that we work with the employer so the rights of the workers are respected," said Dondisch.
The workers are from different parts of Mexico, and they are able to work in the U.S. through the Washington Farm Labor Association (WAFLA) H2-A Guest Workers Program.
The program gives Visas to more than 15,000 WAFLA workers so they can help with seasonal harvests, which is very beneficial for Andrew Sundquist, owner of Sundquist fruit.
"It was important for us to have a facility that was close to where the production needs were that had satisfied the amount of people needed for the amount of production we have on this farm," said Sundquist.
Not only do WAFLA employers provide jobs, but they also provide housing. At Sundquist, half a million dollars were spent to build housing units that provide 48 workers with a place to stay, and Sundquist is looking at adding to the structure. More space is needed to meet their worker demand because fewer than 3% of field labor positions are held by U.S. workers.
The workers at Sundquist will be working until November when they return back to their homes in Mexico, but until then, Dondisch and the Mexican Consulate will be looking out for them and their rights.