Magazine targets needs of migrant workers
There are approximately 4,000 migrant workers in Windsor-Essex
A former employee of the Mexican consulate in Toronto is helping migrant workers communicate more effectively during their stay in Canada.
Margarita Caropresi publishes Atoctli, a magazine printed in both Spanish and English and also available online.
The publication is geared toward mainly migrant Mexican farm workers and partially to the farmers who employ them.
"I include what both parties need," Caropresi said.
The magazine is filled with information about what workers can expect when they get here. It also contains tips or changes for veteran workers who may have been coming to Canada for years.
"We identified the need for more information for worker safety and how they can improve their lives while they’re here," Caropresi said.
The current issue, for example, has a first-person account from a woman whose husband died when he was struck by lightning while working. The piece goes on to offer outdoor and storm safety tips.
There's also a piece educating workers on the importance of understanding and signing legal documents.
"The idea is to serve the worker. But when we help them, we help the farmer," Caropresi said.
Workers from Mexico come to Canada as either seasonal employees or low-skilled workers. The two programs are different. But the culture shocks is the same.
Caropresi said that even something as simple as tone of voice can be a barrier.
"Latin Americans, people who speak Spanish, are sensitive to tone of voice," she said.
Caropresi said employers should tone down their voice.
"There are little things that can be addressed," she said.
There are approximately 4,000 migrant workers in Windsor-Essex.
"In general, if an employer considers their employees the most important asset of their company, they will follow regulations," Caropresi said.