Avelardo hails from La Mazata, Jalisco, Mexico but calls Pearson Farm home from February to August. Lawton graciously took me to the field to meet with him earlier this week. We drove up to find him on a large loader clearing a plot of land. Avelardo drives spray trucks, big tractors and loaders. He runs herbacide rigs, plants trees, loads and hauls peaches. You could say, he does a little bit of everything. He is an invaluable asset to the farming of our peaches.Avelardo first heard of Pearson Farm from "amigos" in his home town. When they asked if he was interested in coming to Pearson Farm to work, he jumped at the chance and hasn't missed a season in 16 years. When I asked what makes him come back to Pearson Farm every year, he quietly looked at Lawton and said the only 2 words I understood during our time together, "No dinero." You see, opportunity is few and far between in his native land. Coming to the United States to work, allows him the chance to provide a better life for his wife and children at home. His oldest son has followed in his footsteps and is now working at Pearson Farm too.A few weeks ago Avelardo's youngest son was involved in an accident back in Mexico that could have ended tragically. As it was, he was not expected to walk or talk again. His Pearson Farm "FAMILY" rallied around and got Avelardo home to Mexico to be by his son's side. When he returned to the Farm, Lawton was one of the first to see him. The two men shared an embrace and one word "Milagro". Not only did his son survive, but today he is a walking, talking miracle!Lawton was my transportation to this meeting with Avelardo as well as our interpreter. As I listened to him explain to Avelardo what we were there to do and asking him the questions I had prepared, I found myself drawn away from listening to what they were saying to watching what they were doing. These two men are not just from different lands but they are also from different generations. Yet their interaction with one another indicated little difference. Their mutual respect and admiration was almost palpable. They are more than boss and employee........they are "FAMILY"Avelardo Rivas 'Lalito"..... Megorate pronto!!!
Pearson Farm "FAMILY" Friday.......When I was growing up, my family traveled to Missouri once a year for a large family reunion. We would spend the first few hours with our aunts, uncles and cousins passing out hugs and kisses while we shared stories of the past year. It didn't take long before the re- connection was made, and it was like we had never been a part. I imagine that's what it's like for the men we host here at Pearson Farm every summer. Especially men, like Avelardo, who is spending his 16th peach season here.