El Paso, Texas — Outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Juárez, Mexico, women passed around a microphone before a large group of spectators Feb. 16 to recount firsthand experiences with — or as — migrants and the labor movement.
"We are here representing the women who work in maquilas (manufacturing operations) in Juárez," said two women before the crowds, speaking Spanish. "We are few, but we are here to share our difficulties in our current working conditions.
"We have no labor rights. We make 98 pesos [U.S. $5] a day, despite working in the same place for 10 or 15 years. . . . We came from far away looking for a better life on the border, and, unfortunately, work in factories that exploit us. We want to ask you for help, so that we can experience a better life without having to leave our homeland and have to immigrate to another country, where people will look at us like strangers."