By IK Kid Reporter ROBERT IVKO, age 12

Zulema is forced to withdraw from school and harvest crops.
Zulema is forced to withdraw from school and harvest crops.

The Harvest/La Cosecha, “The Story of the Children who Feed America” is a documentary about three immigrant children who are trying to help their parents earn money by picking crops. The movie shows just three of 400,000 children in the United States who work from 12 to 14 hours a day trying to earn enough money to survive. Despite the hard work, on average, farmworker families earn less than $17,500 a year.

The documentary shows how Zulema Lopez, age 12, has been working from ever since she could remember. At only 4:30 AM she begins working at a local farm picking onions. For a month she works continuously while being separated from friends and school. When seasons change, Zulema must travel all the way from her hometown in Florida to Michigan.

Victor Huapilla, age 16, says it’s so hard to keep pace with grown up men while picking tomatoes 14 hours a day. He says that once his skin began peeling off because of the fertilizer on the crops.

Perla Sanchez has to turn away from school and begin working to support the family. “Just because we are immigrants,” says Perla, “that doesn’t make us stupid.”

The end of the documentary shows interesting facts about crop pickers. Jose Hernadez, who picked vegetables, became a NASA astronaut. Hope is not lost.

To see the movie, look for it on Netflix. You can also ask your librarian to buy the DVD, to be released October 15th. Find out more at www.theharvestfilm.com.