Press Release

Sedgwick native talks about his travels with Mexican migrant workers

BLUE HILL, Maine — Sedgwick native Levi Bridges will give a talk at the Blue Hill Public Library, on Thursday, December 19th at 7:00 PM about his recent work documenting the life histories of Mexican migrant workers. Bridges, a 2001 graduate of George Stevens Academy, received a Fulbright research grant in Creative Writing last fall to begin work on a book about the experiences of migrant workers who come to the U.S. each year to find employment in agriculture and other low-skilled jobs.

After completing a year of research on Mexican communities that send high numbers of workers to labor in the apple, citrus, and traveling carnival industries in the U.S., Bridges decided to “embed” himself in the lives of migrant workers. This fall, Bridges completed the first part of his research in the U.S. by working on an apple farm in western New York on a crew of Mexican and Honduran migrants.

Bridges first became interested in the subject of migration between the U.S. and Mexico while studying abroad in Mexico City as an undergraduate student. There he met many Mexican nationals who were deported from the U.S., leaving children and spouses behind, and was moved by their stories. Bridges says that U.S. media mainly focuses on the story of undocumented migrants trying to enter America by walking through the desert in Arizona, but he wants to tell the story of what happens to migrants before and after they are in the U.S.

While completing the fieldwork for his book, Bridges has sought to tell the more seldom-told stories of Mexican migrants, focusing on workers who have returned to Mexico instead of staying permanently in the U.S., and migrants who have tried to enter the U.S. legally on short-term labor contracts.

The process of researching and writing his book will take Bridges over two years. For more information call the Library at 374-5515.