The Nuu Nu Chie Program is celebrating its second round of forklift training graduates


By. Miguel Hernandez

“Advancing leadership and job skills that increase job sustainability and career advancement opportunities in Indigenous migrant agricultural communities” is the program motto of Nuu Nu Chie, The Land Where We Sow, the program behind training the migrant indigenous community.

Leaders from the nonprofit organization, Mixteco Indigenous Community Organizing Project (MICOP) and leaders from Ventura County gathered at the Episcopal Church in Oxnard to celebrate the second round of forklift training graduates for the community within the Nuu Nu Chie program, The Land Where We Sow.

The ceremony began with words of inspiration from graduates who worked hard to attend training every week for two months. One of the graduates, Francisco González, comments how he has worked in the field since 1986 and has experienced a lot of mistreatment in the agricultural industry. Gonzales reflected on how he has rejected several spaces where similar training has been offered because he does not have social security, and he thanks the MICOP for providing this type of assistance to the community.

Executive Director of MICOP, Arcenio López reiterated the importance of programs like Nuu Nu Chie and the empowerment of the migrant Indigenous community and commented, “7 out of every 10 workers in the agricultural force belong to the Indigenous community and actively speak an Indigenous language and they are a large part of this community and this country.”

The associate director of MICOP also congratulated the graduates and shared how the act of them taking these training courses, “Is an investment that they are making in themselves and they should be proud as it is an achievement for their entire family as their children witness them through their journey”

In total, 42 indigenous agricultural workers graduated, 8 women and 32 men. Eleven of them graduated with honors for their dedication and passion to improve themselves through the program. The training was offered during the dates of March 12 to April 22. The graduates completed 26 hours of training on various topics whose main objectives are:

Nuu Nu Chie’s Mission: Provide training, skills and abilities that contribute to better salary compensation and opportunities to improve a dignified life for agricultural workers.

The Vision of the program is “To be a leading training center at the state level in providing training and certification services to agricultural workers from migrant Indigenous communities.”

Dulce Vargas, a leader of this program, shared the words

“I feel happy to be able to participate in the development of this new program that MICOP has, Nuu Nu Chie, being a very new program, it is already changing lives and that is great, which is very pleasant to be able to do my bit so that this program may be possible. At the same time, I want to recognize and thank my Mixteco Indigenous Community Organizing Project team that is always present, my colleague José Mendoza Toledano, who is the Workforce Trainer, for all the work he put into this training.”

Vargas also thanks the Sponsors: The California Department of Food and Agriculture. Contributors: Office of the Labor Commission Lilia García Brower, Office of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board ALRB, Office of CAL-OSHA, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR).

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