Supported by

The Atlantic Selects

The Challenges of Educating the Children of Migrant Workers

Oct 07, 2016 | 831 videos
Video by America Reframed

The short documentary Fields of Promise follows a Mexican family from California to Oregon for the summer berry season. Migrant families are continually traveling to different parts of the U.S. to do seasonal work harvesting crops. “We don't go on trips for fun,” the mother, Celia, says about the long drives. “Our only vacation is the road trip. As soon as we arrive, we work seven days a week.” Because the children in these families are not consistently in one place, ensuring they get a quality education is difficult. Migrant Head Start programs for farmworker’s kids help to provide them with a school environment for at least a few months out of the year.

Fields of Promise is the third of a series of three films exploring the lives of people in rural America. You can watch the first one, on Booneville, Kentucky, here, and the second, on White Earth Nation in Minnesota, here. Fields of Promise was directed by Nina Alvarez, and will be streaming on until December 12.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.