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- An estimated 45,000 people cross from Mexico into Arizona daily to work in the winter vegetable industry.
- It can take up to five hours for a Mexican to travel to the border, cross it, and then return home at the end of the work day.
- The San Luis Port of Entry II handles about 40,000 commercial trucks daily. About half of those carry vegetables during the winter months.
Other stops on the tour included the Regional Center for Border Health, the U.S. Border Patrol Yuma Sector Headquarters, Takaii Seed Company, and the Dream Gate Fresh Salad vegetable processing plant.
The last stop was a Yuma-area icebery lettuce field where Project CENTRL members watched the harvest under way.
One class member was overheard saying, ‘I had no idea the amount of hard work that goes into harvesting vegetables. I’ve driven by vegetable fields but have never seen it up close. This experience has opened my eyes.’
As it did for many.
Since 1983, more than 550 Project CENTRL class members have completed the program. Today, the graduates use the leadership tools gained from the program to meet the needs facing agriculture and rural Arizona.
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