The Warwick Area Farmworker Organization Board of Directors is comprised of at least half
farmworkers: Leticia Guitterez, Raul Guitterez; Candido Sierra, Jose Luis Morales, and
Rafael Crespo; One Youth Advisor: Angel Parada; One Farmer: Chris Pawelski;
One Community Member: Chris Ashman; One Sunriver Helath Staff Member: Marilyn
Ortiz; and One Volunteer: Sharon Halper.
Please, meet the Board for 2020:
|Sharon Halper , BOD Chair
On the Board for three years, Sharon has also been a volunteer at the winter lunch program and works with the children in Homework Help. At 74, Sharon has been married for 55 years and raised two children who now are adults themselves. Sharon is a retired teacher, lives in Orange County NY, and a long time Jewish educator teaching inter-religious history. As the child of European migrants, Sharon sees historical irony in her work with farm workers. This work is a deeper opportunity to act on what is best about America.
|Marilyn Ortiz, Vice Chair of the Board
On the Board for three years, Marilyn has volunteered to lead the Sewing Club and assisted in many of the outreach activities. She came to this community by way of Puerto Rico over 20 years ago. She works in HRHCare as an Outreach worker and knows many of the families through her work in Sunriver Health. Prior to coming to work in Sunriver Health, Marilyn worked in the ABCD-Head Start program working with migrant families.
On the Board for two years, Chris worked in Orange County government fort 31 years and for 20 years was Commissioner of Mental Health Services. As Commissioner he was involved with The Alamo. He believes the most satisfying part of being on the BOD is sharing opinions, and ideas and know that the migrant workers, who are a vital part of the County, have supports for themselves and their families.
A board member three years, Leticia has been a farm worker for 20 years. She has two 2 children in the program. She knows a lot of families in the program and is happy to be helping them. She believes it is healthy for the children to be learning during the summer months rather than staying in the house. She has been a part of the Sewing Club, raising money for the program. She is learning English through the Conversational English classes offered in the ALAMO through WAFO.
A farm worker for 25 years, and a BOD member for three, Raul believes it is important to be on the Board. He sees his role as to communicate ideas and to inform other farmworkers about the needs and value of the summer program. Having this program parents don’t have to worry about their children while they are at work. They know the children are being taken care of very well. It’s good for everybody.
|Jose Luis Morales
Jose has been a farm worker in Florida for 15 years. He regularly, and gratefully, participates in the activities of the WAFO including the Hot Meals program and the Sewing Club. Jose has been on the Board for three years. He believes that it is very important for the children to study during their vacation time, and he believes that as a BOD member he is helping the children to prepare for what they will need in life.
|Sharlin Barragan – Youth Adviser
Sharlin is a middle school student in the Minisink Valley Central School District. Sharlin has participated in many of the WAFO programs including the Hot Meals, Homework Club and Dulce Esperanza programs. Sharlin is an avid reader. She often reads six books in one week!
Chris Pawelski is the newest member of the Board. The farmworkers on the Board had requested that he join one year ago. He is a 4th generation onion farmer from Pine Island with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcasting and film studies. He has used his communication skills to become a blogger and advocates for farmers promoting legislation on issues such as disaster relief and crop insurance in New York State and Washington. He has employed farmworkers for many years and supports efforts to improve their lives. Chris has participated in several joint projects improving worker safety with HRHCare-and a CDC project. This is a group in which many of the farmworkers on the WAFO Board first met him and worked with him.
Candido has served on the Board for three years. He is one of the single men who works on a Florida farm. He has worked on an onion farm for just about ten years. He participates in the Hot Meals program and supports many of the activities of the WAFO. He is a father of children in Mexico and believes that the Dulce Esperanza program is very important to the health and well-being of the farmworker families. He sees how this program provides a safe and compassionate place for the children.
Having just finished very successful summer program of recreation, education, and
socialization, the Board is now helping with after school programs and maintaining
regular communications with The Alamo Health Center.