Things That Matter

This Former Farm Worker Is Now A Doctor And Paying It Forward In The Greatest Way Possible

As Latinos, we know that most of our family, friends, and neighbors have all faced struggles. But that as a community we often face those challenges together and come out stronger because of it.

That is exactly what is happening with this doctor in California’s Central Valley.

As a former farmworker, Dr. Bautista understands the struggles that so many migrants face. And he’s made it his mission to help out how he best can.

Credit: @Latinovations / Twitter

This is how you stick up for your community and help out all those who supported you.

In an interview with NBC News, Bautista says he drives by armies of farmworkers on his daily commute to and from his practice outside Fresno.

And he shares a common bond with them: he was once a farm worker himself. As a boy, he picked fruit alongside his parents and nine siblings in Ventura County. The family made $4,000 a year back then, today that’s equivalent to just a little over $30,000.

Bautista told NBC News, “I pledged in medical school to help these people in the farm fields. I knew how it felt not to have anything, not to have the money to go to a doctor.”

Little has changed in the years since he was a farm worker himself.  

Workers still struggle to make ends meet as pay is still abysmal, if they’re ever paid at all. And many farmworkers still lack the transportation, money or time off from work to treat injuries, let alone seek preventive medical care.

And in today’s anti-immigrant political climate, many workers have even more to worry about.

Credit: @latinocfc / Twitter

Many migrants are undocumented and are constantly living in fear that any interaction can lead to deportation. Some are avoiding vaccinations, check-ups, even major treatments, out of fear of being torn from their families and the lives they’ve worked so hard to build.

To make sure that migrants are getting all treatments they need, this doctor treats patients whether or not they have money or legal documents. “We never say no to patients,” he told NBC News.

Farmworkers report feeling secure and say, “He’s one of us.”

Dr. Bautista now has two clinics in the Central Valley and they function as safe havens for immigrants who can come here seeking medical attention without fear or repercussions.

Patients are never asked about their immigration status, and the staffs have set up protocols in case the offices are raided by immigration authorities.

An undocumented mother of five, who has picked oranges in Fresno Country for two decades, told NBC News: “I feel secure with him, he’s one of us.”

Bautista accepts as payment whatever his patients can offer: onions, handmade keychains, eggs, even live chickens.

Credit: @costadaniel / Twitter

Many on Twitter were quick to point out that if the US adopted the human right to health care, with a program like universal healthcare, people wouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay.

Dr. Bautista is inspiring many on Twitter to call out the inequities and discrimination that exist in our healthcare systems.

Credit: @BOLDPAC / Twitter

Immigrants refusing medical care out of fear is a sure sign that our healthcare system is failing the most vulnerable among us.

But thankfully there are people like Dr. Bautista who are doing their part to help the communities that needs him most.

READ: A Look at the World of Migrant Farmworkers through the Eyes of a Child

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

Things That Matter

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Fierce

Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com