Day Laborer Testimonials
Below are featured testimonials from the Day Laborers.
From the Day Laborers Themselves:
Aida Andino: Domestic Worker
I’m Aida Andino and I have been in La Colectiva for five years. As part of this organization, I have been the Flyering Coordinator. Three years ago I got the Orientation Coordinator position because I like to motivate women to join the organization, get more work and develop their leadership skills, just like I have.
I have taken courses such as the Health and Safety training course that helped me learn to use non-toxic products, which are essential for our health and the health of our employers.
Jesus Macias: Expert Plumber (active member of the San Francisco Day Labor Program since 2005)
Jesus Macias has been working as a plumber for 25 years and is skilled in all aspects of the job – from installation to repair. Jesus went to learn through a government program called CAPSE where he worked for many years, mainly as a plumber, but also gaining experience as an electrician.
On a recent job, he repaired a poorly installed bathroom on the second floor of an apartment, appropriately connecting the piping and ventilation. He has all the tools necessary to complete a plumbing or an electrical job.
Juana Aguilar: Housekeeper
My name is Juana Aguilar and I’m a member of La Colectiva de Mujeres, a project of La Raza Centro Legal. I feel proud of the work I do as a house cleaner because for me it is more than just a job. I feel that each time I go to a house, I am going to help people who need my help because they are too busy in their jobs, but, like me, they want a clean house so that their family and their pets can be healthy.
I feel happy when I leave a house clean. I know how to interact with a boss so that he or she will be satisfied with La Colectiva’s work. I always ask how much time they want me there and what they want me to clean – that way we have good communication. With the non-toxic cleaning products that we use, I feel happy and healthy for the products are safer for the employer and for myself.
We are doing good work, because cleaning is just something that is natural and necessary. I feel proud to represent La Colectiva de Mujeres and to be a housekeeper.
Jose Huizar: The Construction Handyman
Jose Huizar Dominguez started working in construction twelve years ago in Pacifica, California. With his experience in carpentry, foundations, plumbing, demolition, and painting, he has a versatile skill-set as well as tool set.
On his most recent job he worked with a crew doing demolition on a 7-floor renovated studio building in downtown San Francisco to prepare the space for a large sky-light.
Julio Cesar Herrera: Master Mason
Julio Cesar Herrera is a master mason and bricklayer. He learned how to install patios, driveways, walls, concrete foundations, and to make beautiful barbeques out of stone, brick, or stucco from his father in Guatemala. For twenty years, he directed his own masonry crew in Los Angeles and has recently moved to San Francisco in the last six months with the hope to establish himself here.
He is a very knowledgeable and responsible worker.
Raquel Botello: Housekeeper
As a member of La Colectiva de Mujeres, we use less toxic cleaning supplies–toxic cleaning supplies can cause harm to our bodies, our children, our pets, plants… and this is bad for workers, but its also bad for employers who are breathing the air with these products. For example, to clean windows, instead of using Windex, we can use white vinegar with a little bit of water. And for example with the grease and dirt we have another recipe which is baking soda with salt and water which is really effective to clean the grease, tubs, and sinks.
I feel very proud to be giving these Health and Safety trainings in La Colectiva de Mujeres and to use less toxic cleaning products in my own house as well as the houses of my employers.