Free Health Clinic for Migrant Workers

June 29, 2003 -- Posted at 6:40 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY, Ark. -- For the past fifteen years the North East Arkansas Migrant Cooperative has presented a free health clinic for migrant farm workers in the area. This years' clinic was held in Lake City at the Riverside West Elementary School. The clinic takes place about this time every year usually at the end of June, when mirgrant workers begin working here in region eight.

Sunday's event provided many services and resources for migrant workers and their families as they seek employment from area farmers. The strong farm industry in region eight tends to attract migrant workers, because of this the migrant workers' health clinic was created.

Jackie James, the clinic organizer, said, "We have a lot of workers as you know that come up from Mexico, Texas, to work in the fields and this is just something that we can do to help get them started when they come into town they really don't have room to bring stuff with them, so we can provide some groceries for them a few items like that."

More than seventy-five volunteers were on hand Sunday providing free resources and services to migrant workers and their families who might otherwise not have the means.

"We got doctors set up where they can be examined, we have a pharmacy set up. The doctors,when they right the perscription,we fill the prescriptions and provide the medicine for them we have two dentists and they have been pulling some teeth and doing general exams." James said.

For Fieencio Cordero and his family this is their fifth time to attend the migrant workers' health clinic.

"It's good because a lot of migrants come through here, and they'll take their blood pressure, there's dentists, they see doctors." Cordero said, "And I think it's pretty good benefits for us."

"We're doing this because we want them to know that we care about them and coming up and spending this time with us and working in our fields and we hope that they will take that back with them and know that they have a friend here in Arkansas." James said.

Each family received a box of groceries to get them by until they get established. Also, something new was added to this year's clinic, free haircuts. Next year, organizers hope this event gets even bigger, providing more services to migrants and their families.