Who We Are


FRANCISCO AGUSTIN

I came to the US nearly three years ago.  I’m from a rural area of Guatemala.  I worked a small plot of land, but it wasn’t enough to raise my family.  When I arrived in Homestead, I found work at a plant nursery, and would send money home for my wife and three children.  However, I was in an accident

on my job and have suffered a lot since then.  After two operations, one leg is shorter than the other, and I can’t walk far or do any heavy work.  I haven’t worked since the nursery let me go two months ago; I haven’t been able to send money home or pay my bills, and am eating only once per day.  I am participating in the fast to stop the separation of families.  And I will continue fighting to be fairly compensated for my accident because I know I will never again be able to do the farm work which has been my livelihood.



JENNY AGUILAR

I am from Honduras and have lived in the US for 18 years.  This country has given me an opportunity to work and reach my goals.  I began working as a truck driver and started my own trucking company.  I was able to build a life for myself and my three children, who were born in this country.  But what one has built over many years of sacrifice and hard work can disappear in a moment.  This is what happened to me because of Immigration.  I was deported to Honduras in 2005 when my husband, w

ith whom I was getting divorced, called the authorities.  I had to come back, because my children were here, and I am the only one supporting them.  So I returned, walking through the desert.  In September of this year, after I made a domestic violence report to the police about my husband, ICE came to my house.  They put me on an electronic bracelet to monitor me; I have to report weekly, and am facing possible deportation.  I am fasting because of all the injustice and damage to families that Immigration is causing.  I want to be free and have a different life for my children.



ANONYMOUS FASTER (AF)

AF is a mother of two US citizen children, ages 4 and 6, who has lived in the US since 2001.  She was stopped by police when driving alone in her car, and arrested for driving without a license.  Although she had no criminal record and the charges were dropped she was turned over to ICE, and deported, after five weeks in detention, to Mexico.




JONATHAN FRIED

Jonathan Fried is the grandson of Jewish immigrants, a thoughtful person, and highly respected for his integrity.  He is originally from Swampscott, MA, and graduated from Friends World College (now Long Island University). He has lived in the former Yugoslavia and Guatemala and speaks Spanish fluently. For the last 35 years, 25 of them in South Florida, Jon has worked and participated in

solidarity, community, immigrant and labor struggles with diverse organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, UNITE/SEIU, the Center for Labor Studies at Florida International University, Florida Foster Care Review Project, Human Services Coalition and We Care. He is currently the founding Executive Director of WeCount!, a grassroots membership organization, with centers in Homestead and Cutler Bay, Florida, that fights for immigrant, worker and youth rights.

Statement from Jonathan: "What We Do For Love: Keeping Our Families Together"




WILFREDO MENDOZA

Wilfredo Mendoza is a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico, and a welder by profession. After moving to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, he began to understand the struggle for immigrant rights through his personal experiences. After meeting undocumented immig

rants and hearing their firsthand stories about painful lives in the shadows of society, he committed himself to becoming a fighter for immigrant rights.

Wilfredo says “I will not rest until all people can safely and proudly walk the streets of our country knowing that their rights cannot be violated. I want our country to be a democracy where we all have equal rights.”

Letter to President Obama




SEBASTIAN CAÑO


I was a teacher in my country, Guatemala.  I taught a class with multiple grades.  I’m also an artist.  I left my country for the US two years ago to help my family – my wife and two children – improve their living conditions, which I couldn’t do on my teacher’s salary of Q1,350/month (approx. $169).  I feel happy being in the US – especially being able to paint and show my talent to others.  But it’s also been difficult finding work and being discriminated against, like when I was working 90 hours a week in Atlanta and they were only paying me for 30 to 35 hours.  In Homestead, I joined WeCount! because I like that they are teaching people to fight for their rights and be informed about what’s happening.  I’m participating in this fast because it’s horrible that so many children are living without a deported parent, and it makes me angry to see women with electronic monitoring bracelets on their ankles.  With the help of God, hopefully this situation will be resolved.