The Vermont Humanities Council has selected the Vermont Reads book for 2022. It is The Most Costly Journey, a collection of stories from migrant farmworkers in Vermont drawn by New England cartoonists.
From the Vermont Humanities Council website:
“Much of the work on Vermont dairy farms is done by people from Latin America. Over a thousand migrant laborers from Mexico and other countries milk cows, fix tractors, shovel manure, and take care of calves in our state.
Our Vermont Reads 2022 choice, The Most Costly Journey (El Viaje Más Caro), tells the stories of 19 of these workers in their own words. Illustrated by New England cartoonists in a variety of styles, each short chapter describes aspects of life as an immigrant farm worker in Vermont: crossing the southern border, struggling with English, adapting to winter, growing gardens, raising children, dealing with health crises, and working long hours…
The Most Costly Journey had its genesis at The Open Door Clinic in Middlebury, a free health clinic that serves people who do not have health insurance, and those who are underinsured. About half of the clinic’s patients are agricultural immigrant workers.
Many of these workers stay close to the farms where they work out of fear of being deported, lack of transportation, or other reasons. The problems caused by this isolation led nurse Julia Doucet to imagine a series of Spanish-language pamphlets that would help farm workers share their stories with each other. She chose cartooning as the medium for the pamphlets, as comics are common in Latin America and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and literacy levels.”
The CU Library owns a copy and will be getting more for the CU community in the fall.
Here’s a short video about the making of the pamphlets that became “The Most Costly Journey.”