The quilt of workers in the field of Lake Apopka North Shore, in Central Florida

About a recent photographic exhibition at City of Orlando, of several old pictures and two quilts  made of patchwork, which tells us  the story of  workers in the fields of Lake Apopka and its many years of sacrifice.

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The  “quilt” was made with the idea of symbolizing a memorial tribute to all the lives of farmers who worked, harvesting, planting and packaging at the plant for decades.
The descendants of these workers are hoping to draw people’s attention to the problems that the misuse of pesticides in the region led to the workers of the north bank of Lake Apopka.

Before the plantation was created the lake was crystal clear, conducive to fishing for striped bass.
Lake Apopka today is considered the most polluted region, where  studies in the crocodiles attracted international attention due to high levels of pesticide  and found evidence that their reproductive and endocrine system of wildlife and fishes was altered. These pesticides were widely used in plantations and therefore also in the lake and as a side effect caused anatomical and hormonal abnormalities, in addition to extremely low levels of reproduction among the crocodiles, not to mention the high level of various types of cancer in workers. From 1998 to 1999 the ancient lands of Lake Apopka farms were considered to be the site with the highest mortality of birds in U.S. history. The cause of these deaths was diagnosed to find traces of the pesticide toxaphene, now eradicated from American territory.
Farmers, men women and children who worked on the farms at Lake Apopka, also were eating fruits and vegetables that were grown there, as well as farmed fish, and were widely exposed to these  pesticides.

Many studies during all these years were conducted in the area but none have determined the extent of damage to farm workers in Lake Apopka.We know that today most of the farm workers are dead from various types of cancer, many women at that time due to their poor situation took the kids to work there, still in young age and boxes of pesticides were laying around serving of seats for workers to take breaks, the damage is large and this group needs help.

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The Lake Apopka Memorial Quilts are a tribute to the lives of farm workers who lost their lives as a result of the work of generating power for America for decades. The stories told by each individual in the square weave personal stories, tragedies and little victories that speak about the injustices that still occur on our dinner tables.

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