photo by Paul Baker
You are Baudillo, from Guanajuato, Mexico. You
are a campesino, cannot read or write. You have come to the U.S.
three times, employed by an American company. They fix the papers,
and you pick oranges for a few dollars an hour. When the season
is over, you go back to Mexico.
In January of 1996, picking oranges, you fell off the thirteenth
step of the ladder. You fell right on your back.
You broke your back and one rib.
The American company paid for you to go to physical therapy for
one month. Then, no more treatment, no more X-rays, no more doctors.
Your back hurts all the time. You have pain all the way down your
right leg, and can hardly walk. They want to send you back to Mexico,
but what will you do in Mexico, you can't work in the fields, you
can't work at all.*
*I developed this card when I met 'Baudillo,' while working as an
interpreter in a doctor's office. As his Spanish language interpreter
I saw his X-rays and his CAT scans.
They showed his back broken in two places.